The ‘Kissing Sailor’ statue in Florida has been covered by #MeToo graffiti just a day after George Mendonsa, the sailor depicted in the statue, passed away.
The statue in question is based on a photograph depicting a sailor and a dental assistant kissing towards the end of World War I. Alfred Eisenstaedt photographed the scene for Life Magazine. It depicts a sailor, later identified as George Mendonsa, kissing a woman in a white nurse’s uniform, who was later identified as Greta Zimmer Friedman.
After the photographer explained that the picture happened with Mendonsa running up the street and grabbing the first girl he saw and kissing her, widespread criticism arose against him for sexual assault, harassment, and abuse. The statue was vandalized with a huge red spray painted ‘#MeToo’ covering her leg. This was just a day after the sailor passed away at the age of 95.
The Sarasota Police released a statement explaining the situation, writing, “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.”
The graffiti in question has not been identified as being the work of some specific person. The Sarasota police added that neither surveillance video from the area nor witnesses have any useful leads. They did not find any spray bottles near the area. Only the statue had been vandalized.
Police further added that the statue, which is on a loan to Sarasota, Florida, will cost upwards of $1000 to fix. They are currently still on the hunt for the person who vandalized the ‘Unconditional Surrender’ statue which has now become a landmark in the area.
The police have promised to update the public with more information as soon as it is available.