Marilyn Monroe statue comes home to Hamilton, New Jersey

HAMILTON TWP., N.J. - April 8, 2014

It's not a sight you see every day; a giant image of the late actress Marilyn Monroe being hauled on the back of a truck in pieces.

But after a cross country trip from Palm Springs where the sculpture had been on display since 2012, the head, torso and legs of the film icon have arrived at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton where they were made.

"Driving something that makes people happy, going down the road and just seeing the smiling faces, it's a job of a lifetime," said Ron Shaw.

At 26 feet high, the monumental "Forever Marilyn" as it's called is part of J. Seward Johnson's icons revisited series.

It depicts that famous pose in the movie "The Seven Year Itch" where Monroe's skirt is blown up as she stands above a subway grate.

"To me, it's not about the size, it's about the energy it has," said Regina Zilinski. "It feels like it takes you back to another era."

"I think it's really cool. I'm really excited. I really wish my daughter was here because she adores Marilyn Monroe," said Pam Manners.

Ever practical, before the six day journey home, Marilyn's drivers stopped at a car wash to get her cleaned up for the fans who came out to see her along the way.

"People love her, and in Pittsburgh, hundreds of people came out in the rain," said photographer Carl Deal.

In preparation for a retrospective of Johnson's work, every inch of the Marilyn sculpture will be examined, repaired and repainted even down to her toes.

"We will actually do a pedicure on her and will chase and hammer and grind and blend it all out. By the time she's done, her feet will be perfect," said Susan Dunsmoor, Fabricator.

"She's in good shape," said Charles Haude.

Charles Haude is supervising the restoration of this piece and the production of other versions.

The Marilyn sculpture is made of aluminum up top, but from the waist down it is stainless steel.

Of course lots of women don't like to talk about their weight.

"She weighs 16,000 pounds, and the base she sits on weighs 20,000 pounds," said Haude.

If you'd like to see Marilyn in person she'll have herself cleaned up, put together and ready for the public starting May 4th in Hamilton, New Jersey.

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