Marilyn Monroe statue stolen from atop Hollywood art space

A stainless steel statue of Marilyn Monroe that stood atop a two-story Hollywood public art space near the famous Walk of Fame for 25 years vanished Monday.

The Los Angeles Police Department has launched an investigation into the missing sculpture, which depicted the iconic actress -- whose birth name was Norma Jeane Mortenson --  in a scene from the 1955 film "The Seven Year Itch."

“I am calling this the great Marilyn caper of 2019,” Los Angeles Councilman Mitch O’Farrell told KNBC-TV. “We have a witness who saw someone climb this structure and saw off the statue at the top.”

A pedestrian walks past the "Four Ladies of Hollywood" gazebo on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, on Wednesday June 19, 2019. Officials say someone climbed the more than two-story tall public art piece and stole a statue of Marilyn Monroe. Los Angeles Councilman Mitch O'Farrell says a witness saw someone climb the gazebo on the Hollywood Walk Fame and saw off the statue. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

A pedestrian walks past the "Four Ladies of Hollywood" gazebo on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, on Wednesday June 19, 2019. Officials say someone climbed the more than two-story tall public art piece and stole a statue of Marilyn Monroe. Los Angeles Councilman Mitch O'Farrell says a witness saw someone climb the gazebo on the Hollywood Walk Fame and saw off the statue. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Security camera footage appears to show someone jump down from the artwork and walk away with a backpack, the station reported. It was not clear what was in the bag.

The footage does not show the theft.

The small statue was perched above the "Four Ladies of Hollywood" gazebo, which pays tribute to women in film, on a spire that spelled out "Hollywood" from top to bottom.

Legendary actresses Mae West, Dorothy Dandridge, Anna May Wong and Dolores del Río make up the gazebo's pillars. Investigators have recovered fingerprints from the structure, which was erected in 1994.

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"We got a few prints with our experts up there," LAPD Det. Douglas Oldfield told the station. "We noticed the suspect used the Ws as footing."

Monroe died in 1962 at age 36. She is considered one of the film industry's most iconic figures.