Wednesday, 16 October, 2019

Statue based on famous WWII 'kissing sailor' photo spray-painted with '#MeToo'

039;#MeToo' spray-painted on Florida statue depicting iconic 1945 Times Square kiss Cops are looking for a suspect or suspects who defaced a statue in Florida
Patty Aguilar | 21 February, 2019, 03:57

A statue depicting the famous scene of a sailor kissing a woman in New York's Times Square as people celebrate the end of World War II has been vandalized with red spray paint spelling out #MeToo.

The black and white photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt of Mendonsa swooping in to kiss dental assistant Greta Zimmer Friedman on the day Japan surrendered to the United States on August 14, 1945, became one of the most well-known photos of the 20th Century, according to CBS.

According to the Sarasota Police Department, officers responded shorting before 1 a.m. Tuesday to a report of a person vandalizing the "Unconditional Surrender" statue at North Gulfstream Avenue and Bayfront Drive. The paint covered the length of the nurse's leg.

"They found the words '#MeToo' spray painted in red along the left leg of the nurse".

Damage to the statue was estimated at more than $1,000 "due to the large area that the graffiti covers, and the resources needed to fix it".

The statue is believed to have been spray painted sometime between the mid-afternoon and evening on Monday.

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Mendonsa also once said that he mistook Friedman for a nurse, and that he would "never had grabbed her" if she wasn't wearing a uniform. George Mendonsa, 95, died after suffering from a seizure and falling in an assisted living facility in Middletown, Rhode Island, his daughter told the Providence Journal.

On Sunday, George Mendonsa, the Navy sailor identified as the titular "Kissing Sailor", passed away. Officers did not find spray-paint cans and no witnesses or surveillance cameras observed the incident.

When Eisenstaedt captured the photograph on V-J Day (Victory over Japan Day), U.S. officials had just announced Japan's surrender - WWII was finally over. "So when I saw the nurse I grabbed her, and I kissed her". As CBS News writes, it "became one of the most famous photographs of the 20th century".

"He was very strong, he was just holding me tight", she said.

Friedman, who died in 2016, echoed his sentiments. "It wasn't a romantic event".

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