Giant Marilyn Monroe statue in front of Connecticut church draws criticism from some parishioners

A 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe has stirred up some residents of Connecticut due to its provocative pose and placement in front of a church.

According to the Associated Press, the statue, depicting Monroe's famous scene from the 1955 film "The Seven Year Itch," was placed across the street from the First Congregational Church of Stamford.

Some critics believe that the position of the display is disrespectful to the church, which gets a clear view of the enormous statue's underwear.

The display was installed last week in Latham Park in downtown Stamford as part of a summer arts series that features the works of its creator, Seward Johnson.

Pixabay/466654[Representative image] A statue of Marilyn Monroe is featured in this image.

Maureen Matthews, a member of First Congregational Church, said shortly after the installation that she was not bothered by the statue, but she believes that some will be offended.

"It is silly. There are bigger issues to worry about. But I'll be interested to see how people talk about it on Sunday," she said at the time, as reported by the Associated Press,

The pastor of the church, Rev. Todd Yonkman, said that he was not able to hear the reactions of his parishioners about the statue last Sunday because he was away on vacation. He said he believes that the statue was created to "make the viewer uncomfortable."

"It makes me uncomfortable. The question for each one of us is, What will you do with your discomfort? I am choosing grace," Yonkman told The Huffington Post.

Resident Lorri Tamburro expressed concern about the display after seeing some children looking up the skirt.

"I just find the position to be offensive," she told the Stamford Advocate, "It was, in my eyes, very disrespectful. I looked at it and I think because of what I saw with all these little kids looking up, the height is ruining it. It's ruining beautiful Marilyn," she added.

City officials said they had received phone calls regarding the placement of the statue.

The exhibit was organized by the Stamford Downtown Special Services District and sponsored by companies such as the real estate finance firm UC Funds.

Sandy Goldstein, president of the Stamford Downtown Special Services District, said that the response to the massive Marilyn Monroe statue and other sculptures had been overwhelmingly positive.

Some residents lamented that a Christmas tree had been removed to set up the massive display. Goldstein, however, clarified that the tree had been cut down last month because it had died from disease. She said that the statue would have been installed in a different park had the tree not been cut down.