Wednesday, it was announced, once again, that a giant statue of Marilyn Monroe is coming back to Palm Springs. The statue was a fairly popular attraction in the city from 2012 – 2014, when it sat outside that once sat just outside a vacant downtown mall – but, a lot has changed in the city since then and maybe we can pause for a moment and ask: does the statue even fit in the city anymore?
As just about anyone will tell you, Palm Springs has changed a lot since 2014. Sure, there are still plenty of cheesy, tourist trap t-shirt shops dotting downtown Palm Springs but, unlike a decade ago, the town is known for being more than just a sleepy haven for old people. No, seriously. People under 50 actually like visiting the city now! I mean, I feel weird saying this, but for many, Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley are actually…pretty cool.
Events like Coachella and Desert X have brought large, unique, and amazing art installations to the desert that have garnered worldwide attention. Hell, the mirror house in Palm Springs had over 27 million of Instagram posts all by itself!
Of course, there have also been some giant artistic busts, but that’s a post for another day.
The Desert Sun went looking for what the cost of the Marilyn statue ended up being and the best the city manager of Palm Springs could say was “more than $1 million” – which seems like an awful lot of money in transient occupancy tax dollars that could’ve been spent on creating something completely new and unique to Palm Springs or, well, on literally anything else.
Now, who knows, maybe the return of Marilyn will be worth the time and money and people will love it and it will become the iconic thing to visit in Palm Springs. But, maybe, just maybe the statue just doesn’t fit the city anymore.