This week is the big week for Sarasota’s big sculpture.
Starting Tuesday, “Unconditional Surrender,” the 25’ tall sculpture of the famous kissing sailor and nurse created by artist Seward Johnson, will be re-installed on Sarasota’s bayfront.
The installation will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday, as a crane lifts the sculpture into place. Work will be complete by Friday, Dec. 7.
The larger-than-life sculpture was removed in April, after a woman driving a four-door white Mercedes Benz smashed into the base of the statue, causing enough damage to the structure to force it to come down. It was shipped to Johnson Atelier, a New Jersey studio that fabricates and installs art sculptures.
Superstorm Sandy delayed the delivery of the sculpture back to Sarasota.
“We are very excited to be bringing the sculpture back to Sarasota, to its permanent home where it belongs,” Paula Stoeke, Director of The Sculpture Foundation, said in a press release.
Those who love and those who hate the controversial sculpture have noticed its absence.
Johnson said when he created Unconditional Surrender he wanted to evoke a time of unity in the country.
The moment captured in the embrace of these two strangers encapsulates the spirit of having fought a successful campaign defending our values, and celebrates the expression of sheer joy at the homecoming,” said Johnson.