Congregants of First Congregational Church of Stamford in Stamford, Connecticut were shocked when something suddenly obstructed the view of their church last week. That something just happens to be a 26-foot tall statue of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe.
The statue shows the starlet in her iconic pose from The Seven Year Itch, with her white dress billowing up around her hips.
It not only obstructs the view of the church, but gives congregants a nice view of Monroe’s backside.
Artist Seward Johnson constructed the Forever Marilyn piece. It’s part of an art series displaying Johnson’s work in public places.
The statue, as well as other life-size sculptures of people by Seward, will stay up through summer in the town.
This is a look at the front of the statue, placed before the church (where a rainbow flag is also visible).
Below is the back of the statue.
Members of the church had different reactions to the statue.
One member, Pam Riley, told Stamford Advocate she finds the piece ‘disrespectful’.
‘Her skirt is up in the air and everyone’s under there looking up her skirt,’ she added.
Another member, however, has a more light-hearted approach. Jean Meyer commented: ‘You’re going to have different opinions on it, but you have to have a sense of humor.’
The church’s senior minister, the Rev. Todd Yonkman, understands the statue is a piece of art.
‘It makes me uncomfortable,’ he told HuffPost. ‘The question for each one of us is, What will you do with your discomfort? I am choosing grace.
The church is planning on hosting a Pride celebrating, so Yonkman calls the statue ‘fortuitous’.
‘Marilyn is a gay icon, so it turns out that this may be a fortuitous coincidence,’ he said.