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Kiss statue returns to San Diego Bay

Installation began Monday, February 11 of a bronze recreation of Unconditional Surrender, the controversial statue depicting a sailor kissing a nurse in celebration of the end of World War II, on the San Diego bay front near the U.S.S. Midway museum.

The original foam and urethane statue, loaned to the Port of San Diego in 2007, ended up staying much longer than anticipated. When plans were finalized for the artwork to be transported to its next scheduled stop at a sculpture garden in New Jersey, factions emerged both supportive and critical of the statue.

Detractors called “The Kiss” a gaudy tourist attraction that insulted the sincerity of other works of art along the bay, but fans lamented its removal, staging a “kiss-in” to protest their loss. Eventually the Midway museum staff stepped in, orchestrating a $1 million fundraiser to recreate the traveling work in a more durable bronze, which would be repainted to match the original.

The Port will formally accept the statue as a gift from the Midway at a ceremony this Saturday at 10 a.m., where the U.S. Navy Southwest Band will perform and several couples married during World War II will renew their vows at the base of the 25 foot sculpture.

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Installation began Monday, February 11 of a bronze recreation of Unconditional Surrender, the controversial statue depicting a sailor kissing a nurse in celebration of the end of World War II, on the San Diego bay front near the U.S.S. Midway museum.

The original foam and urethane statue, loaned to the Port of San Diego in 2007, ended up staying much longer than anticipated. When plans were finalized for the artwork to be transported to its next scheduled stop at a sculpture garden in New Jersey, factions emerged both supportive and critical of the statue.

Detractors called “The Kiss” a gaudy tourist attraction that insulted the sincerity of other works of art along the bay, but fans lamented its removal, staging a “kiss-in” to protest their loss. Eventually the Midway museum staff stepped in, orchestrating a $1 million fundraiser to recreate the traveling work in a more durable bronze, which would be repainted to match the original.

The Port will formally accept the statue as a gift from the Midway at a ceremony this Saturday at 10 a.m., where the U.S. Navy Southwest Band will perform and several couples married during World War II will renew their vows at the base of the 25 foot sculpture.

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Comments
9

Like what "other works of art along the bay" would you be referring to?

Feb. 12, 2013

There is a large iron work art piece on Laruel where it hits Harbour, as you go right to Lindberg Filed, or stay to the left to go to the Star of India there is a triangle grass spot that has the iron work art, looks sort of cool.

https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&safe=off&qscrl=1&rlz=1T4GZGN_enUS487US487&q=laruel+and+harbor+san+diego&ion=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42261806,d.cGE&biw=1704&bih=875&wrapid=tlif136073328340510&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl

Feb. 12, 2013

I just did a Google street view and the old iron work art piece is now gone, replaced with some sort of cast iron looking circles. The anchor I think has always been there.

Feb. 13, 2013

The "circles" are what I was referring to in my comment. I think they have been there for a while. The google image is Jan 2011 and I'm pretty sure they were there a couple of yrs before that

Feb. 13, 2013

Haven't been by the airport in a long time Didn't know those were still there. It's actually weathering steel; the alloy causes allows a thin layer of rust to form which actually protects the metal. They are by a French Artist named Bernar Venet, He had about a dozen or so pieces on display in various places around SD a 2 or 3 yrs ago, but I thought it was only supposed to be temporarily. We say a couple more in the median on Harbor Island, This one is called Arcs in Disorder: 4 Arcs x 5, At the time he had a spot in a gallery in Little Italy. Bugatti hired him last year to makes some pieces for their ad campaign:

None

Feb. 13, 2013

I didn't see them, are they on the end or in the middle?

Feb. 13, 2013

They are where Harbor Island Drive splits off to run along the bay. One of them is in the median between the 2 northbound lanes leading away from the bay the other in the next median to the left. I just noticed that if you zoom in to the 20ft scale, you can see them plainly, same if you go to streetview in the left northbound lane,but if you go to street view in the right northbound lane, the one coming from the east side, they are gone and all you see is a patch of fresh turf where the tall sculpture was. That image is dated Jan 2011. The image when viewed from in between the 2 lanes is dated Dec 2008, so I guess I remembered correctly when I thought they were a temp display

Feb. 13, 2013

OK, I see them the ones on the Sheraton/North side are nearly impossible to see unless it is street view. Where are the images dated????? I am actually glad the iron work art on Laurel and Harbour is gone, it was in the shape of a ships hull, was VERY large, and sort of tacky IMO. I love the Navy (??) Anchor, as that has been there forever and represents a large part of our history. I prefer that the local art near the water be SMALL and not obtrusive, because when it is large it takes away from the panoramic surrounds of the scenery and beauty. The perfect example of this was the Pacific Rim Park built on Shelter Island back in 98, across from the Freedom Bell. It is nice EXCEPT for the huge concrete "fans" that are 15 feet high and blocks the beautiful vista view that you had there before it was built, a 270 degree panoramic view of the bay and Point Loma that is now gone forever.

Feb. 13, 2013

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