Leggy Marilyn Monroe statue relocated to Calif.

Marilyn Monroe statue
The Marilyn Monroe statue in its new location in Palm Springs, Calif.

(CBS News) In Palm Springs, Calif., a giant statue of Marilyn Monroe has taken shape.

It was first seen, standing tall, nearly a year ago in Chicago. Many people there were sorry to see the statue of Monroe go.

Pictures: Early Marilyn Monroe pictures
"CBS Sunday Morning": One photographer's view of Marilyn Monroe

The statue of Monroe - all 26 feet and 40,000 pounds of her - was on display for 10 months in Chicago. Entitled "Marilyn Forever," the sculpture sought to recapture the memorable moment from the film "The Seven-Year Itch."

Critics called it inappropriate kitsch. But the pilgrims who came to Pioneer Court were having none of it. Visitor Jocelyn Strausser said, "Girls like her talent and men like her body. It's as simple as that."

On her last day in Chicago, most of those paying homage hadn't been born when Monroe was alive. Her death will be 50 years ago this August.

The statue is the work of sculptor Seward Johnson. He told CBS News the pose captures Monroe, but he's well aware of the controversy his work has generated. "I hope not to start fist fights," Seward said, laughing. "But I don't mind a little bit of disagreement. It's very good because it makes people go down inside themselves to find out what's making them tick."

Last week in the dark of night, "Marilyn Forever" was disassembled. This week, "Marilyn Forever" made its way to Palm Springs, Calif., beating out other towns who wanted to host it because it was in Palm Springs that the real Monroe burst on the American scene in a series of photos shot locally. Those photographs are now part of Susan Bernard's book, "Marilyn: Intimate Exposures."

On Monday the leggy foundation and billowing skirt were set in place, followed by the torso and head on Tuesday. The statue's reception was as warm as the desert air.

Palm Springs City Council member Paul Lewin said, "I love that this statue, this sculpture, is larger than life - because Marilyn herself was larger than life. So I think this really epitomizes what she was all about."

Resident Judy Sailors said, "We are very excited. Being a business owner downtown, it's gonna bring a lot of business down here."

To watch Dean Reynolds' report on the relocated Marilyn Monroe statue, click on the video in the player above.