SARASOTA, Fla. — The iconic kissing statue, known as the "Unconditional Surrender" statue, in Sarasota was vandalized less than 24 hours after the passing of the World War II veteran who was identified as the "kissing sailor" in the famous photo that inspired the sculpture.
The 26-foot tall statue is located on the Sarasota Bayfront near Marina Jack.
Sarasota Police Department says at approximately 12:53 a.m. on Tuesday, officers were dispatched to the intersection of North Gulfstream Avenue and Bayfront Drive for a report of an unknown person spray painting the statue.
When officers arrived on scene, they found the words "#MeToo" spray painted along the left leg of the kissing nurse. Police couldn't find any spray paint bottles in the area and no other objects were found to be defaced or vandalized.
There are no available surveillance cameras in the area that could have captured the incident and no known witnesses, according to police.
The approximate damage is estimated to be more than $1,000 due to the large area that the graffiti covers. Police notified the City of Sarasota Public Works.
The graffiti was removed just after 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Graffiti has been removed from the Unconditional Surrender statue. pic.twitter.com/dSrq1MbfsJ
— City of Sarasota (@CityofSarasota) February 19, 2019
If you have any information on this case or who may be responsible, please call the Sarasota Police Department Patrol Division at 941-954-7025 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS.
Sarasota Police Department tells ABC Action News they continue to investigate the incident.
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