The Sarasota Police Department tweeted Tuesday morning that police were dispatched to the statue around 12:53 a.m. for a report of a person vandalizing the "Unconditional Surrender" statue. When officers arrived, they saw the words "#MeToo" painted on the woman's leg left.
Police believe the incident happened Monday, but there are no surveillance cameras in the area and no witnesses, authorities say. Damage is estimated at more than $1,000, police say.
"Kissing sailor" in iconic NY picture dies age 95
The sailor pictured kissing a woman in Times Square as people celebrated the end of World War II has died at age 95.
At approximately 12:53 am, our Officers were dispatched to the intersection of N Gulfstream Ave & Bayfront Dr reference to an unknown individual spray painting ‘# MeToo’ on the Unconditional Surrender statue. Additional information is at https://t.co/gv10lGhcjapic.twitter.com/JakU8aI7QY
— SarasotaPD (@SarasotaPD) February 19, 2019
The graffiti had been removed by mid-morning Tuesday, with the city tweeting new photos of the statue.
Graffiti has been removed from the Unconditional Surrender statue. pic.twitter.com/dSrq1MbfsJ
— City of Sarasota (@CityofSarasota) February 19, 2019
The statue, a replica of a photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, portrays a sailor grabbing and kissing a stranger – a female dental student in a white dress – on V-J Day in New York City's Times Square on Aug. 14, 1945, to celebrate the U.S. victory over Japan in World War II.
Memorial statue for Queensland boy who drowned has been stolen
Jared Bannah drowned at Mt Morgan dam near Rockhampton in 2015 and the community paid for the statue.
The sailor mistakenly thought the woman was a nurse in the war because of her uniform.
On Sunday, the man in the iconic photograph, George Mendonsa, died at 95 after a seizure and fall in his assisted living facility.
In recent years, some have been critical of the photo after the woman in it, Greta Zimmer Friedman, said it wasn’t her choice to be kissed.
"The guy just came over and kissed or grabbed," she told the Veterans History Project with the Library of Congress in 2005. "It was just somebody really celebrating. But it wasn’t a romantic event."
However, when Eisenstaedt snapped the picture, he did not document any information about the photo's subjects, and their identities were a mystery for years.
In 1980, Life magazine, which first published the photo, contacted Friedman and she met with Eisenstaedt. She had previously reached out the magazine to notify the publication that it was her in the photo, but they told her it was someone else. Friedman died in 2016 at 92.
Mendonsa's identity was verified by a 2012 book titled "The Kissing Sailor: The Mystery Behind the Photo That Ended World War II," although some are still skeptical.
The most iconic reality TV stars of all time — and where they are now.
Love it or hate it, reality television is a huge part of pop culture today. And there's something for everyone, no matter what your interests are. Want to watch a bunch of people compete to date Flavour Flav? There's a show for that. More into watching beautiful people in their 20s running around Los Angeles? There's a show for that too. A few reality TV icons have become some of the biggest celebrities in the world today - while others have faded into obscurity. Not everyone can finagle a hosting gig into the presidency. Keep scrolling to see what your favourite reality TV star is doing today.