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Goodbye, Norma Jean: Chicago bids farewell to Marilyn Monroe statue

Jim Young / Reuters

A 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe is separated into four pieces in Chicago on May 7, 2012.

NBC Chicago reports — A 40,000-pound, 26-foot statue of Marilyn Monroe's famous pose from "The Seven-Year Itch" was dismantled Monday night in preparation for the long drive to its new home in California.

The initially controversial "Forever Marilyn" creation by Seward Johnson was unveiled last July. She now heads to Palm Springs, where the actress was discovered by a Hollywood agent. 

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It's a bittersweet moment for some who viewed Monroe's iconic, skirt-billowing pose as sexist. One website, VirtualTourist.com, ranked her the worst piece of public art in the world.

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VirtualTourist also questioned why a likeness of the star's famous, New York City-based stance was placed in Chicago and said the towering, blown dress forced many to peer up at Marilyn's panties.

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The statue will be installed in Palm Springs by the end of May, where it is expected to stay in place until June 2013.

Jim Young / Reuters

Jim Young / Reuters

Jim Young / Reuters

A collection of photographs and memorabilia from Marilyn's longtime makeup artist, Allan "Whitey" Snyder," is set for auction.