02/02/2016 1:20 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Marilyn Monroe Tribute Statue Takes Centre Stage In Bendigo


Marilyn Monroe once described herself as just a small girl in a big world.

But that's certainly not the case in Bendigo, where a giant statue of the iconic actress is captivating the regional Victorian town.

The dazzling 8-metre high structure is part of a new exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery, which features more than 20 original outfits worn by the international sex symbol in films like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire.

The gallery is said to have worked with film studio Twentieth Century Fox to bring together items from collections around the world.

It's another big win for the small gallery which scored a hit in 2012 when around 150,000 people attended its event Grace Kelly: Style Icon.

The statue, created by renowned U.S. artist Seward Johnson and officially titled Forever Marilyn, has been transported to Australia from its usual homes in Chicago and Palm Springs, California.

It's a representation of one of the most famous images of Monroe, taken from the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch.

This is the huge tribute's international debut after recently being lashed by the extreme weather on the U.S. east coast.

It was flown to Australia in pieces then set up in Bendigo using a crane and cherry picker, and is said to be generating "huge" public and media interest.

The unveiling of the statue comes on the 55th anniversary of the screen legend's last starring role -- in John Huston's western The Misfits .