Michigan Avenue's Marilyn Monroe Tagged With Graffiti

By BJ Lutz
|  Monday, Aug 29, 2011  |  Updated 1:16 PM CDT
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Marilyn Monroe Before She Was Famous

BJ Lutz

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UPDATE: Crews were out on Pioneer Court cleaning the statue's leg Monday morning.

Michael Bleau, a freelance writer from Los Angeles, snapped a photo of the cleaning.

"I observed an older man with an artificial right leg, probably late 50s, cleaning the graffiti off of the right back leg of the Marilyn Monroe statue with a white towel and a can of acetone.  When he was finished he simply stepped back, took a picture for himself, and drove off in his red pickup without so much as a glance around for approval.  Pics attached."

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It seems the Mag Mile's Marilyn Monroe has gotten herself a tattoo.

Someone overnight Friday tagged the right leg of the 26-foot statue that adorns Pioneer Court Plaza, outside NBC Chicago's Studio 5.

A pillar outside the building that houses the studio, 401 North Michigan Avenue, was also tagged.

While several surveillance cameras are often trained on the plaza, it's not yet known if any of them recorded the tagger.

The giant Marilyn statue, the work of New Jersey-based artist Seward Johnson, was unveiled a little more than a month ago. Monroe is slated to adorn the plaza, in her classic pose from the 1955 film "Seven Year Itch," until next spring.

Johnson is also the artist behind the "American Gothic"-inspired sculpture "God Bless America that graced Pioneer Court Plaza in 2008. The following year, a sculpture depicting Shakespeare's King Lear took the spot.

Police have been notified of the graffiti and are investigating. A call to Zeller Realty Group, which curates the plaza, went unanswered Saturday morning.

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