Marilyn Monroe’s 60-year-old dress ‘damaged’ after being worn by Kim Kardashian

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Before Kim Kardashian wore the historic outfit, experts and historians had already raised the alarm.
After revealing she was wearing the iconic Marilyn Monroe “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress at the Met Gala more than a month ago, Kim Kardashian caused a stir. However, the pop culture icon is now facing criticism for choosing to wear the 60-year-old outfit.

A sequence of images revealing the dress’ significant variations between its pre- and post-Met Gala appearances were published to Instagram by Marilyn Monroe collector Scott Fortner. A few of the dress’ crystals are now shown to be missing, in addition to tears and buckling fabric.

The collector also shared a side-by-side comparison showing the garment’ missing crystals and a 4K video of the gown being auctioned.

Bob Mackie, the dress’s creator, as well as fashion conservators and museum professionals expressed outrage when Ripley Entertainment, the firm that purchased the outfit at auction, loaned it to Kim. The move was denounced in a statement from the International Council of Museums.

The International Council of Museums stated in their declaration that “public or private figures” should not wear historical clothes.

The dress should have been treated “exactly like artwork,” according to Mary Pontillo, an art insurance claims specialist who discussed the dress’ current condition with the journal ARTnews. She said that the clothing should have been cared for “as any other historic artefact.”

In a Vogue interview, Kim emphasised that she was aware of the garment’ historical significance and that she had worn it with the utmost care. The social media star briefly appeared in the outfit as she ascended the Met stairs before changing into a duplicate.

“I have the utmost regard for the outfit and what it represents in American history. I wouldn’t want to eat or sit in it, and I wouldn’t want to risk damaging it. I also won’t be wearing the same body cosmetics that I typically do. I had to rehearse coming up the stairs and everything had to be precisely timed,” she told Vogue.

The most expensive piece of 20th-century art ever to be auctioned, it sold for $195 million, or P10.2 billion. Similar to the “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress, which sold in 2016 for $4.8 million, or P256,370,400 using today’s exchange rates, it holds the record for being the most expensive dress ever sold at auction.

The Mona Lisa, which was vandalised in May as part of a purported climate protest, was another historical object that came dangerously close to being harmed.

Twitter user @lukeXC2002 captured the incident’s aftermath and shared a video of a museum employee clearing up the debris.

A video of the perpetrator of the event being led from the Louvre was also posted on Twitter by the user. The person was allegedly saying: “Think about the Earth, think about the Earth, there are people who are killing the Earth, think about it,” in one of the replies to the tweet. All artists encourage you to consider the planet, thus I created this piece titled “Think About the Planet.”