Vandal gives Marilyn Monroe statue makeshift tattoo

Marilyn Monroe got an overnight tattoo, courtesy of an unknown vandal.

The 26-foot-tall statue of the screen legend continued to draw gawkers to North Michigan Avenue Saturday, some of whom posed smiling for pictures next to an ink message, apparently scrawled with a marker of some kind on the back of her right calf.

The graffiti appears to include the words “Pi$tola” and “Ariel” with a heart between them, along with other doodles.

Witnesses noticed the damage to Monroe Saturday morning and informed police, who are investigating.

Pat Johnson of Calumet City was not amused. “I think it’s horrible,” she said with a shake of her head while gazing at the statue in Pioneer Court north of the Chicago River. “It’s like ‘Only in Chicago.’ ”

Johnson came downtown with her husband and stepdaughter and made a special stop to take photos of Monroe in her iconic wind-blown skirt pose from the 1955 film “The Seven Year Itch.”

“I had to come see Marilyn,” she said. “I’m not disappointed by the statue, but I am disappointed by the graffiti. It’s a shame people can’t just appreciate public art.”

Police said that they are investigating.

Officials with the Zeller Realty Group, which curates Pioneer Court, said they did not know about the tagging until a Chicago Tribune reporter notified them today and said the office was closed until Monday.

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