It is one of the most iconic moments captured in cinema history - Marilyn Monroe shyly holding her dress when the wind blows it above her knees.

In memory of her famous pose from The Seven-Year Itch, a 26-foot high statue of Marilyn Monroe was erected near Chicago's Tribune Tower. The statue, created by artist Seward Johnson, has been dismantled in preparation to shift to its new base in California.

According to NBC Chicago, the statue will be stationed at the corner of Tahquitz Canyon and Palm Canyon drives by the end of May, and it will remain there for one year.

The stainless steel and aluminium statue, which weighs a whopping 34,000lbs, did not win anyone's heart. Though it was appreciated initially, it faced criticism later. Shockingly VirtualTourist.com, had ranked it number one among the worst pieces of public art in the world. Eye brows have been raised over the spectacle that when visitors gazed up they saw the legendary star's bottom in white panties.

The sculpture had been attacked numerous times and in an incident red paint was spilled under Monroe's dress which ran down her leg.

In Chicago Arts Blog, writer Abraham Ritchie described it as "a creepy schlock from a fifth-rate sculptor" while Richard Roepera, a columnist on the Chicago Sun-Times pitied the behaviour of visitors.

"Men (and women) licking Marilyn's leg, gawking up her skirt… as they leer and laugh," he said.

But the artist does not pay heed to such comments.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the variety of reactions to the sculpture," Johnson said in a statement. "The city of Chicago is richly appreciative of public art in all its forms and is a model for other cities to follow," he added.

Take a look at the images of the dismantling of the statue in Chicago:

A 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe is separated for disassembly in Chicago, May 7, 2012. The sculpture
A 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe is separated for disassembly in Chicago, May 7, 2012. The sculpture "Forever Marilyn" by artist Seward Johnson and based on a scene from the movie "Seven Year Itch", was taken down after being on display since last July.Reuters
A 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe is separated for disassembly in Chicago, May 7, 2012. The sculpture
A 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe is separated for disassembly in Chicago, May 7, 2012. The sculpture "Forever Marilyn" by artist Seward Johnson and based on a scene from the movie "Seven Year Itch", was taken down after being on display since last July.Reuters
A worker looks at a disassembled 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe in Chicago, May 7, 2012. The sculpture
A worker looks at a disassembled 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe in Chicago, May 7, 2012. The sculpture "Forever Marilyn" by artist Seward Johnson and based on a scene from the movie "Seven Year Itch", was taken down after being on display since last July.Reuters
A worker prepares to disassemble a 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe in Chicago, May 7, 2012. The sculpture
A worker prepares to disassemble a 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe in Chicago, May 7, 2012. The sculpture "Forever Marilyn" by artist Seward Johnson and based on a scene from the movie "Seven Year Itch", was taken down after being on display since last July.Reuters
A 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe is separated for disassembly in Chicago, May 7, 2012. The sculpture
A 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe is separated for disassembly in Chicago, May 7, 2012. The sculpture "Forever Marilyn" by artist Seward Johnson and based on a scene from the movie "Seven Year Itch", was taken down after being on display since last July.Reuters
Newly wed bride Magda Villasenor (R) and her maid of honor Lorena Lopez pose beneath a 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe in Chicago,
Newly wed bride Magda Villasenor (R) and her maid of honor Lorena Lopez pose beneath a 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe in Chicago,Reuters