Marylin Monroe




Client: Anonymous – Secret location – South East England

It’s not every day you get asked to transport a 20th century icon (actually we do have some form of this as a longstanding client,  The Green Oak Carpentry Company worked with Paul de Moncheuax to build a timber sculpture for the occasion of the BBC’s Great Britain’s competition awarded to Winston Churchill… which we moved into the Houses of Parliament…but that’s a different story…)

This time it was a highly polished, very heavy, but nonetheless fragile 2,500 kgs black marble sculpture representing Marylin Monroe. It had to be moved from the studios in the Thames Valley where the artist and his team had spent countless hours cleaving and sculpting the iron hard stone & then polishing it to a lustre.

The job had more than its fair share of complications, including; –

  • A load not designed to be transported and made of a natural material that could, in all probability, have a fatal flaw in its fabric should it not be moved with the utmost of care.
  • The delivery point, chosen for its aesthetic position and proximity to London Gatwick for visiting foreign buyers and certainly not its easy access for heavy lifting gear had manicured drives and gardens and plenty of mature and rare trees.
  • A metre difference from the drive to the lawn level, where the sculpture need to be to maximise the natural lighting, precluded the obvious choice of a telehandler to lift and carry it to the chosen spot.
  • The clients ‘artistic-temperament’ coupled with the uniqueness of the work and the nigh on a million pound asking price made every decision made, sensitive in the extreme.

So the sculpture was wrapped, then a lifting rig was carefully attached and it was wrapped again for transport by a super truck. Our Moffett forklift was then craned on to the lawn and positioned on a quantity of GPRM ‘Ground Protection Mats’. Once a roadway had been laid out about 15 metres across the lawn, ‘Marylin’ was hoisted up, stabilised, reconnected to the Moffett and placed on the pre sited plinth with surgical precision. Some more time was then spent getting the orientation relative to the attractive architecture just so…for the clients required photographs.

We then took all of equipment away, leaving her standing there alone, as if angels had bought her back for a while, and not ruined the lawn in the process.