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After months of controversial wrangling over its future, “Unconditional Surrender,” the 25 foot recreation of a World War II era sailor kissing a nurse, appears to be finally approaching its final days on the San Diego bay front.

Following several years’ worth of extensions on a loan of the artwork that originally expired in 2008, the Port of San Diego announced plans in February to remove the statue by month-end. Numerous protests seeking to keep the work sprang up, including a “kiss-in” staged by an Ocean Beach photographer and a fund-raising drive seeking to replace the traveling piece (next slated to visit a sculpture garden in New Jersey) with a permanent installation.

The Port says that work to deconstruct the art and prepare it for transport will begin Wednesday, May 30, with work to be completed by the following day.

The USS Midway Museum, which is spearheading the drive to raise $1 million for a permanent bronze replica of the piece, will give an update on fundraising efforts at a free veterans’ remembrance ceremony on the ship’s flight deck this Saturday.

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Gail Powell May 25, 2012 @ 7:39 a.m.

We need to stage a "kiss-in" to raise money for a replacement statue. Perhaps local celebrities can all go down to the Embaradero & sell their kisses for charity. Basic kisses, of course, are less expensive that French kisses & simple groping. Perhaps some of the more attractive Reader journalistic all-stars can go down there to support cheesy public art. Just make sure that the one or two of them that are kissable remember to brush their teeth & squirt some antiseptic mouthwash first!


lightwave May 26, 2012 @ 5:35 p.m.

This statue is not art. It is gaudy. It doesn't belong in public property. I can't believe some one would pay a mil for this. Support local artists and let them put something up for $100. Plus, that navy outfit says it all.


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