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Unconditional Surrender statue will be moved 100 yards south, remaining on Sarasota's Bayfront

Posted at 8:58 PM, Nov 16, 2020

SARASOTA, Fla. — Sarasota’s "Unconditional Surrender" statue will remain on the Bayfront and will move just a few hundred feet south of its present site.

The statue has to be moved to make room for a round-a-bout being built where Gulfstream Avenue meets US-41.

The “kissing sailor” sculpture commemorates a photograph taken of a U.S. Navy sailor grabbing and kissing a total stranger on V-J Day, marking the end of WWII.

Some controversy arose last year when the statue was vandalized with a"#MeToo" tag.

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The sculpture has been on Sarasota's Bayfront for over a decade and is beloved by many residents and tourists.

"I was 14-years-old when the war ended, can you imagine? Everybody was happy. Everybody was downtown hugging and kissing everybody," said 89-year-old Marjorie Nicholas who was visiting the statue for the first time.

There were nine possible spots the statue would be moved to.

After a public hearing on Monday, commissioners voted 4-1 to accept the staff’s proposal and permanently move the 26-foot-tall “Unconditional Surrender” sculpture to the area between O’Leary’s Tiki Bar and Grill and Marina Jack.

The statue will be moved in January.