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Marilyn Monroe Statue Leaving Downtown Chicago Monday (PHOTOS)

Posted: 05/ 1/2012 10:07 am Updated: 05/ 1/2012 1:25 pm

Some thought it was hot, while it left many other Chicagoans feeling cold -- but either way, Seward Johnson's controversial, 26-foot-tall Marilyn Monroe statue is set to be removed from the city's Magnificent Mile Monday.

The sculpture, depicting Monroe in her famous "The Seven Year Itch" atop-a-subway-grate stance, was unveiled in the city's Pioneer Court last July.

The statue -- titled "Forever Marilyn" -- was panned by critics and locals alike, and named among the nation's top 10 pieces of bad public art by VirtualTourist.com. The piece was vandalized multiple times, once with red plaint splattered under Monroe's white dress that ran down her leg.

As the Associated Press reports, the sculpture has attracted innumerable visitors posing for photographs under the legendary film star's dress.

Despite the less than enthusiastic response to his piece, Johnson said in a statement that he "thoroughly enjoyed seeing the variety of reactions to the sculpture. The City of Chicago is richly appreciative of public art in all its forms, and is a model for other cities to follow," CBS Chicago reports.

Johnson was previously responsible for a large "American Gothic"-inspired sculpture installed temporarily in the same spot, just off the Magnificent Mile, in 2008, as well as a 20-foot-tall sculpture depicting King Lear the following year.

Check out photos of the sculpture below.

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  • In this July 15, 2011 file photo, curious spectators gather around Seward Johnson's 25-foot-tall sculpture of Marilyn Monroe in her famous pose from the film "The Seven Year Itch," on Michigan Ave. in Chicago. Chicagoans only have a few more days left to take a peek up Marilyn Monroe's skirt. It is slated to be removed on Monday, May 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

  • (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Filed by Joseph Erbentraut  |