Not far from the entrance to the Palm Springs Museum of Art in California, stands a giant statue of the famous movie star Marilyn Monroe.
The 7.5-metre-high work shows Monroe in her most famous scene from the film “The Seven-Year Itch”, where her skirt is blown up. But not everyone appreciates sculpture.
A working group took legal action to remove the statue. They call the statue a “sexual abomination” and believe it stands in the way of traffic in the area.
Now another work of art has set Palm Springs residents on fire.
This time it is about a limestone statue scheduled to be erected in one of the city’s parks.
For eight years, the Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Task Force worked with sculptor Philip K. Smith III. The goal was to create a memorial to honor the lives lost to HIV and AIDS.
There are concerns being raised about an AIDS memorial being erected in downtown Palm Springs. @jekiksk He has more on the controversy and potential changes in response to those concerns
– KESQ News Channel 3 (@KESQ) September 16, 2023
The statue is scheduled to be erected in a separate memorial grove in Downtown Park.
The hole in the middle is at eye level. It facilitates transparency, giving a sense of hope and a look beyond what is right in front of you, Smith explained in a previous interview with a local television station Kisk TV.
But in recent days, the memorial has come under intense attack. This was reported, among other things, by local newspapers Palm Springs Post.
– The proposed memorial looks like a graphic depiction of someone’s back, Gene Brake, local resident and founder of the Jose Sarria Foundation, tells KESQ-TV.
Pictures of the planned statue quickly spread on social media. He has been mocked on far-right websites and accounts. Many critics were more direct in their “analysis.”
– The AIDS memorial looks like an ass hole, wrote X/Twitter user @BrandonDonkey2.
Another resident KESQ-TV spoke with notes that the statue has become a laughing stock.
– Because it looks that way, it’s become a joke. That’s the last thing we want, says Clay Sells.
Now the Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Task Force has come out and commented on the backlash.
-We have listened to the concerns. A revised design is being worked on, they write in one Public statement.
According to the plan, the new design will be presented on October 18.
The final memorial will also include an educational component about HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment options.
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