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26-Foot Marilyn Monroe Being Erected In Pioneer Court

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A new public artwork is shrouded in secrecy, but for passersby on Pioneer Court, it's the talk of the town.

"I love it, it's way cool," said Nancy Fry of Lansing, Mich.

Long legs, a white dress and exposed undies can only mean one thing.

"Any guesses as to what it may be? I think it's Marilyn Monroe," she said.

"I'm a loss from words. It's different," said Sylvia Kormak of Chicago.

"I love it and I'm curious why it's here," said Jule O'Hara from Philadelphia. "She's larger than life anyway. I loved her."

Workers spent the night putting the finishing touches on Michigan Avenue's newest resident.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780's Lisa Fielding reports


Melissa Farrell of Zellar Realty Group says the 26-foot sculpture will be quite the attraction.

"We are installing a large scale public artwork. It's very visible to the public and it becomes a tourist attraction. People come to Chicago to see it," Farrell said.

The three-part piece of art was built in a studio in New Jersey and brought to Chicago and like the sculptures before, "King Lear" and the homage to American gothic, it'll be towering over Michigan Avenue through the spring.

"Today it's been photos all day, people stopping by, they can only see the bottom half of it and they can't wait til it's all up," said Farrell.

Chicago is familiar with the artwork of Seward Johnson from sculptures previously presented by Zeller Realty Group, such as the impressively tall and provocative "God Bless America," inspired by the painting "American Gothic" by Grant Wood, as well as the Shakespearian figure of King Lear.

Another smaller but well-known Johnson piece featuring eight bronze children holding hands and playing, entitled "Crack the Whip," is located on the Navy Pier lawn.

The top half and the completed sculpture will be unveiled on Friday.

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