AS IT HAPPENED: Watch our live stream below.
UPDATE, 1.40pm: Despite cold weather and constant drizzle, a small crowd of people watched the Forever Marilyn sculpture being dismantled on Monday morning.
The sculpture arrived five months ago from America with Bendigo immediately falling for her.
As she was taken apart on Monday, people were talking about what next to do with the space in Rosalind Park.
Bendigo’s traditional Christmas tree will return there in the summer but some the community wants the space used more regularly.
“It’s a void now, just empty. Maybe we should bring in an Elvis,” Kathy Hemmes said.
Graeme said his family had visited from Wollongong just to see the statue.
“It’s such a good drawcard and the really good thing about it is its position when you’re coming in from Melbourne. It’s the first thing you see, which is terrific,” he said.
“We definitely need something else in there but Io don’t know what.
“An Aussie would be good but not Ned Kelly and not a film star.”
UPDATE, 12.15pm: More than 143,000 people visited the Bendigo Art Gallery’s Marilyn Monroe exhibition with thousands more stopping at the Forever Marilyn sculpture at Rosalind Park.
Bendigo Art Gallery director Karen Quinlan said 143,500 was a huge number for the gallery.
About 152,000 people attended the Grace Kelly exhibition.
“That is a huge amount for us. I t was very close to Grace Kelly in terms of ticket sales,” Ms Quinlan said.
The sculpture will now be moved to the Bendigo Art Gallery where it will be packed and transported back to Melbourne.
“When she is dismantled, she will packed, condition reported and sent back to Melbourne where she will be put on a ship to the states,” Ms Quinlan said.
“People may be sad to see her go but she has to. It has been an incredible five months and I know (artist Seward Johnson) was extraordinarily happy to see her come to Australia.”
Ms Quinlan said the space in Rosalind Park deserved to be utilised more by the community.
“I want to hear what people thought of (the installation). It is important to appreciate the gallery is working outside of its walls but the public has a role to play,” she said.
“We are thinking about (another art installation) but it is early days.
“We need a gap, there is a Christmas tree to go in and it is a shared space and a meeting point. This has captured the imagination of people in the community and from outside our community.”
Ms Quinlan said public art has role to play in Bendigo.
“Good public art creates debate and excitement and wherever sculpture goes, it will create stir,” she said.
EARLIER: The giant statue of silver screen legend Marilyn Monroe has been dismantled this morning as we say farewell.
Marilyn’s head and torso were taken down at about 10.30pm with her skirt being removed at about 11am.
Her legs are expected to be taken dismantled at about 12.30pm.