Marilyn Monroe to 'premiere' in Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton

The Grounds for Sculpture is expecting huge crowds when a Marilyn Monroe piece goes on display next month. (4/8/14)

HAMILTON - A statue in Hamilton honoring one of Hollywood's biggest icon's is truly larger than life.

The Grounds for Sculpture is expecting huge crowds when a Marilyn Monroe piece goes on display next month.

The beloved figure made her not-so-glamorous arrival from Palm Springs in multiple pieces, strapped to a flatbed truck.

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Her fans turned out along the way, tweeting and instagramming their brush with the very "big" star.

"She's 25 feet tall and weighs 13,000 pounds," says Director Charles Haude, of Johnson Atelier Technical Institute and School of Sculpture. "She sits on a steel base and that weighs 20,000 pounds, and that is part of the engineering that lets her withstand 150 mile per hour winds."

"Forever Marilyn," based on the famous image from "The Seven Year Itch," is expected to be the main attraction in a retrospective of her creator's work. It is a giant collection of New Jersey artist Seward Johnson's sculptures.

Before the exhibit's May 4 opening, some assembly is required. Marilyn is made up of six total pieces.

Scratches and blemishes will be repainted, as will the star's pedicure. The pedestal will double as the gusty grate that blows up Marilyn's skirt.

All the pieces will be welded back together in the same artist studio where she was created.

"This is really a homecoming for her," says Haude. "She's back, and she's never been shown in New Jersey. We shipped her out. So this will be the first time."

It's under that wind-blown dress where a lot of fans like to pose for pictures.

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