\u00a0Marilyn Monroe\u2019s rear is getting some leers in Connecticut.\r\nA 26-foot statue of the actress has been placed in a Stamford park across the street from a church, which is getting a full view of her behind. It depicts the famous scene from 1955\u2019s \u201cThe Seven Year Itch\u201d where Monroe holds down her white dress as air blows up from a subway grate.\r\nThe back of the statue showing her underwear is clearly visible from the front of the First Congregational Church of Stamford. Some passersby this week said it was disrespectful to the church.\r\nMost church members have yet to see the statue because it was put up Monday as part of a citywide art display. But it is sure to spark conversation when they return for Sunday worship, said church member Maureen Matthews.\r\n\u201cI think some people will be offended,\u201d said Matthews, who is not bothered by the statue. \u201cIt is silly. There are bigger issues to worry about. But I\u2019ll be interested to see how people talk about it on Sunday.\u201d\r\n\u201cForever Marilyn\u201d is one of 36 statues by artist Seward Johnson that are on loan and on display in the downtown area through the summer. They\u2019re part of the city\u2019s annual \u201cArt in Public Spaces\u201d program. All the statues except Marilyn are life-size and depict people doing everyday activities.\r\nCity resident Lorri Tamburro told The Advocate newspaper that she found it disturbing to see children climbing on the statue\u2019s leg and looking up the skirt.\r\n\u201cI just find the position to be offensive,\u201d she said. \u201cIt 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\u2019s ruining beautiful Marilyn.\u201d\r\nThe response to Marilyn and the other statues has been overwhelmingly positive, said Sandy Goldstein, president of the Stamford Downtown Special Services District, which is hosting the exhibit along with sponsors including real estate finance firm UC Funds.\r\nGoldstein noted there are many nude statues outdoors in Europe \u2014 and near churches \u2014 that are accepted by the public.\r\n\u201cIt is art and we don\u2019t believe it is offensive,\u201d she said. \u201cWe absolutely mean no disrespect to the church.\u201d\r\nThe Rev. Dr. Todd Grant Yonkman, pastor of the First Congregational Church, has a sense of humor about the statue, but said it was an odd artistic choice.\r\n\u201cThe issue is, Why that statue,\u201d he said in an email to The Associated Press. \u201cMarilyn Monroe was an artist deserving our respect. Why appropriate her image in this way. Is this the best we can do?\u201d\r\nHe said he heard Monroe\u2019s husband at the time of \u201cThe Seven Year Itch,\u201d baseball star Joe DiMaggio, was uncomfortable with her shooting the subway vent scene.\r\n\u201cMaybe the city would let us give her some pants?\u201d Yonkman said.