A Florida statue depicting the famous “V-J Day kiss” photo that came to symbolize the end of World War II was hit by vandals, who spraypainted “#MeToo” on the nurse’s leg.
The statue, which is known as “Unconditional Surrender” and located in Sarasota, was reported to be vandalized early Tuesday morning.
The statue depicts the famous “VJ-Day kiss” shared between two strangers- a US Navy Sailor and a nurse- on the day World War II came to an end.
According to the Herald Tribune, officers responding to the scene discovered “#MeToo” had been written on the leg of the nurse in the statue, but found no evidence at the scene to help in apprehending a suspect.
The city quickly dispatched a crew, who cleaned the statue up before lunch- all to the tune of $1,000 in damages.
George Mendonsa, the man featured in the statue, had died only days prior to the act of vandalism, two days before his 96th birthday.
In past recountings of the tale, Mendonsa claimed that he was inebriated when he kissed dental assistant Greta Zimmer Friedman (a Jewish girl who fled Nazi-controlled Austria in 1939), and simply did the act out of joy over the war’s end.
“I had quite a few drinks that day and I considered her one of the troops,” he said. “She was a nurse.”
While the kiss has traditionally been considered an endearing moment in American history, recent cultural shifts in favor of historical revisionism have led to many regarding the incident as a form of sexual assault.
The Sarasota Police are still trying to determine who vandalized the statue and ask anyone with information to come forward.
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