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Navy Sailor Kissing Statue To Come Down This Month

The iconic statue of a Navy sailor kissing a nurse at Tuna Harbor is scheduled to be taken down at the end of this month, the Port of San Diego announced today.

"Unconditional Surrender," by J. Seward Johnson, is a depiction of a famed 1945 Life magazine photograph taken in Times Square in New York when the end of World War II was announced.

Owned by the Santa Monica-based nonprofit Sculpture Foundation, the 6,000-pound sculpture has been on loan to the port since 2007.


Prior to its local installation, the sculpture was displayed in New York as part of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, and then displayed in Sarasota, Fla. through the summer of 2006.

Edith Shain, a former Los Angeles schoolteacher, claimed to be the woman in the photograph. She attended the unveiling of the statue in San Diego and appeared at other local events before she died in 2010 at the age of 91.

The work of taking down the artwork and preparing it for transport to its next destination will take about two days, according to port officials.

Other statues will remain in the area around Tuna Harbor and the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, including "Homecoming"--featuring another kissing couple--the Battle of Leyte Gulf Memorial and bust of Admiral Clifton Sprague, the aircraft carrier memorial and USS San Diego Memorial.