LOS ANGELES (CN) – A 25-year-old man who apparently prefers blondes was charged on Monday with stealing a Marilyn Monroe statue from a public art sculpture in Hollywood earlier this month.
Austin Mikel Clay, from Glendale, California, allegedly climbed an art sculpture on June 16 located at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea Avenue and sawed off a statue depicting Monroe, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Monroe, who’s real name was Norma Jeane Mortenson, died at age 36 in 1962 due to a barbiturate overdose, but her memory is kept alive in Hollywood where street impersonators of the actress pose for photos with tourists and her visage is omnipresent, appearing on public artwork and souvenirs.
The stolen statue depicts Monroe in a windblown dress in her iconic pose from the movie “The Seven Year Itch.”
Los Angeles police say Clay took an ax to Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last summer. According to court records, Clay was on felony probation when he was said to have made off with the statue of Monroe.
Clay was arrested last week at his home.
He faces one felony count of grand theft of property valued at more than $950 and one felony count of vandalism causing over $400 damage, according to law enforcement.
The Four Ladies of Hollywood gazebo sculpture the Monroe statue sat atop is owned by the City of Los Angeles.
Clay faces three years in county jail if convicted on the charges, and he is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Tuesday in Los Angeles criminal court.