#MeToo Graffiti washed from the statue of the kiss day V-J of Sarasota: NPR



#MeToo graffiti was discovered scribbled on the woman's leg being kissed in the statue of "Unconditional Surrender" of Sarasota.

Sarasota Police Department


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Sarasota Police Department

#MeToo graffiti was discovered scribbled on the woman's leg being kissed in the statue of "Unconditional Surrender" of Sarasota.

Sarasota Police Department

Is this an innocent demonstration of jubilation before the end of an unacceptable war or an act of sexual assault?

The context of a kiss is fraught with growing importance of consent to the #MeToo era.

On Tuesday, the city of Sarasota, Florida, announced that she had removed the #MeToo red graffiti scribbled on the woman's leg in the statue of "Unconditional Surrender."

The 26-foot tall structure that overlooks the city's bay is inspired by the famous photo of a sailor kissing a woman on Victory Day, when Japan announced its unconditional surrender thus ending the Second World War. World.

The Sarasota Police Department said it discovered vandalism early Tuesday. But, without witnesses or surveillance videos, they ask the public for assistance in identifying a suspect.

It was August 14, 1945, when Times Square in New York erupted into a merry tumult and Life Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt's mission was to capture "the moment of narration". He saw a sailor looking for a woman in white, tilting back and resting his mouth on his. Eisenstaed was fortunate enough to create a piece of Americana, which is being examined in a new light.

Naval photojournalist Victor Jorgensen also captured the kiss from a different angle, but his image was somewhat overshadowed by that of Eisenstaedt. However, the Tampa Bay Times reports that the creator of the statue in Sarasota, Seward Johnson, was actually inspired by the image of Jorgensen.

Navy photojournalist Victor Jorgensen photographed this lesser known version of the sailor kissing a woman to celebrate the end of the Second World War in Times Square, New York, in 1945.

Victor Jorgensen / AP via the US Navy


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Victor Jorgensen / AP via the US Navy

Navy photojournalist Victor Jorgensen photographed this lesser known version of the sailor kissing a woman to celebrate the end of the Second World War in Times Square, New York, in 1945.

Victor Jorgensen / AP via the US Navy

George Mendonsa, who died Sunday at the age of 95, had long claimed that he was the man in the photo. In an interview in 2005, he told the Library of Congress veterans history project that he had drunk a few drinks and that, in the "wild" scene of the street, he had taken the Unknown in his arms.

Greta Zimmer Friedman said that this woman was her, telling the Project in a separate interview she was out of the office where she was working as a dental assistant when she felt "suddenly seized".

"It was not my choice to be kissed," she recalls. "(I) It was not a romantic event, it was just a thank you event, the war is over."

Friedman died in 2016. So she can not say if she would have identified herself with sexual assault and harassment victims gathered under the hashtag #MeToo in a global movement today. Others also claimed that these were the ones represented and that the faces being obscured and no names were taken at that time, the question of identity remains somewhat obscure.

But the stories of Mendonsa and Friedman being widely accepted, vandalism provokes mixed reactions on social media. Some users applaud the #MeToo message and others defend the statue.

"Stop glorifying the" taking "of [women] against their will, "said the Facebook user identified as Bonnie Gustow." I loved this statue until I learned the story. "

Brenda Wren echoed the sentiment imploring officials to "remove the statue".

But others say that the statue captures a moment of American history worthy of respect.

"Young people simply do not understand the exuberance of the end of the Second World War," said Bernhardt Moore. "It's perhaps the most famous kiss in history … sorry your goal is so distorted right now."

John Cloud, owner of the Sarasota Corporation, Gorilla Kleen, said he had been prompted to act after learning the news of vandalism. "It's just sad to see that nowadays someone chooses to deliberately cause damage to something that brings great pride to the community," said Cloud at Sarasota's subsidiary, ABC. He added that his company had removed the spray paint for free.

Facebook user Tracy Topjun emphasized the inevitability of the collision of two eras and two perspectives: "I think it makes this statue look better and more powerful.

In 2009, Jack Curran, a Navy veteran, bought the statue for $ 500,000 and donated it to Sarasota on condition that it remains exposed for a decade, reports the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Jason Bartolone, a spokesman for Sarasota, told NPR that the statue would remain unchanged until June 2020, when the property will be transferred to the city by a non-profit group. He said that we still do not know what will happen to the statue next year.

This is not the first time that the statue is damaged. In 2012, he had to be disassembled and sent to New Jersey for repair after being hit by a vehicle.


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