HENDERSON, N.C. -- People in Henderson are talking about the massive sculpture of a woman's legs, spread open on Welcome Avenue.
At first glance, it looks more like something you'd find at a strip club, instead of a quiet neighborhood.
A backhoe contractor, Ricky Pearce poured concrete into hand-drawn molds to create the 40-ton, 17-foot-high legs. Then, he lifted them into place with a crane.
Complete with some landscaped foliage, strategically placed,
the display is making some folks chuckle, and others shake their heads in disgust.
"The project took about three years," Pearce said. "I was inspired by Marilyn Monroe's legs, with the skirt blowing."
Some residents who live nearby are pleased with Pearce's legwork.
"Oh, I like them. I think they're great," one homeowner told NBC-17. "I think he did a really great job on them. And it just shows a lot of art work."
But, others aren't so forgiving. The sculpture is, after all, located between two churches.
"What is it insinuating to the kids in the neighborhood?" Walter Fuller wonders. "Why do they just show the legs. If it's a woman, why not show her beautiful face ... or her body clothed?"
Pearce said he doesn't think there's anything in the sculpture a kid shouldn't see.
"If they learned a little bit more about this
and stayed away from drugs, they'd be better off," Pearce said.
Fuller wants Pearce to remove the sculpture, but the artist said people come from all over the country to see it and take pictures of it.
He also sculpted Marilyn Monroe's high heel shoes, but said they don't fit the legs. They are located not too far away on land that Pearce rents out.
Both city and county officials said they have received complaints, but their zoning laws do not apply.
The Vance County district attorney told NBC-17 state obscenity laws may stick, but he has more important crimes to worry about.