It was “irresponsible” to loan an iconic gown once worn by Marilyn Monroe to Kim Kardashian for the Met Gala, a collector has said.
The reality TV star made waves when she appeared at the glitzy fundraiser wearing the dress – dubbed the most famous dress in the world – which was worn by Monroe during her famous 1962 performance of Happy Birthday to US president John F Kennedy.
But some of the attention turned to criticism after collector Scott Fortner posted photos online appearing to show damage to the gown, which has since been returned to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!.
Mr Fortner said the franchise’s only intention in allowing the reality star to wear the outfit at the prestigious New York fashion event had been “publicity” and that more should have been done to protect the “cultural icon”.
But he added that it was not his intention for any outrage to be directed at Kardashian.
“I think the disappointment that I’m experiencing is Ripley has made multiple statements that they were doing everything that they could to protect and preserve the gown,” he said.
“I do feel that it (was) irresponsible, this is not just a dress.
“This is a cultural icon. It’s a political icon. It’s a Hollywood icon.
“It’s part of American history from an event that happened 60 years ago and…it should have been archived and preserved and taken care of.”
The skin-tight gown is adorned with more than 6,000 crystals and was hand-sewn by costumier Jean Louis.
Mr Fortner added: “I think a lot of people are really kind of coming down really hard on Kim Kardashian and that’s not my attempt here.
“It’s the most famous dress in the world.”
The historian, who has curated his own private collection of Monroe artifacts, said the gown was now “irreparable” as it was no longer possible to purchase the fabric it was made from.