Marilyn statue unveiled in Chicago

Marilyn Monroe's billowing skirt shows it is possible to catch a nice breeze in the Windy City.

As dozens of people watched, a 26-foot-tall sculpture of Monroe in her famous pose from the film The Seven Year Itch was unveiled on Chicago's Magnificent Mile.

In the film, a draft catches Monroe's dress as she passes over a grate.

Many in the crowd that descended on the plaza throughout the day - including a tuxedo-clad wedding party - wasted little time positioning themselves under the movie star's dress to catch a subway-level view and take pictures with their mobile phone cameras.

Not that Monroe, her eyes closed and a sublime smile on her face, seemed to notice.

Some of those who took pictures of the sculpture called Forever Marilyn were surprised when they came around the side and back of the sculpture and saw honest-to-goodness lace panties on the movie star.

The film scene and photographs taken from it left much more to the imagination than artist Seward Johnson's sculpture.

The actual white dress worn by Monroe in the scene from director Billy Wilder's 1955 film that helped make her a screen legend sold for 4.6 million US dollars at an auction last month of Hollywood costumes and props collected by film star Debbie Reynolds.

"Thank God, she has panties," said Wanda Taylor, voicing the relief of a mother who wouldn't have to spend the next several hours answering questions from her nine-year-old son, Kendall Sculfield. "They're clean and white, so I'm happy."