Art committee to vote on sailor statue


Art committee to vote on sailor statue


Date: August 11, 2009
by: Robin Roy | City Editor


Supporters and opponents of the “Unconditional Surrender” sculpture on the bayfront will head to City Hall Aug. 12, where the Public Art Committee will make its recommendation on the sculpture’s permanent home.
Among the supporters will be Florida Sen. Mike Bennett.

An 88-year-old anonymous donor has said he will buy “Unconditional Surrender” for $500,000 and donate it to the city, but he has one condition — the controversial sculpture has to remain on the bayfront.

Its lease was set to expire June 1, but Season of Sculpture Executive Director Brenda Terris negotiated a deal to place “Unconditional Surrender” at Ken Thompson Park. The Public Art Committee supported that move.

But just days after that decision, the World War II veteran stepped forward with his offer to buy it.

Last month, Dr. Rich Swier, president of the Sarasota County Veterans Commission, asked city commissioners to accept the offer, but the commission wanted a recommendation from the Public Art Committee before making a decision.

Adding a bit of intrigue to the Aug. 12 meeting is the fact that the Public Art Committee’s chairwoman, Virginia
Hoffman, has been highly critical of “Unconditional Surrender”, calling it “worse than kitsch.”

She has publicly opposed keeping the sculpture on the bayfront, but vows to make an objective decision.

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Currently 7 Responses

  • 1.
  • God Bless the gentleman that wants to buy it and place it on the bayfront. My father was in the Navy during WWII and that statue would have made him very proud, it embraces the heart and soul of this nation at that time. If Ms. Hoffman is in charge of some one the garbage that I have seen down there through the years maybe she should resign or retire the position. The statue depicts emotion, it's patriotic and a true piece of art that people can understand. Not something that people look at and go "what is it?". Shame on Sarasota if we don't keep it where it is. One person shouldn't be allowed to speak for the majority.
  • Gilda Perkins
    Thu 13th Aug 2009
    at 12:17am
  • 2.
  • I do not want the "Unconditional Surrender" to remain on the Bay Front.
  • Suzanne Ray
    Wed 12th Aug 2009
    at 6:51pm
  • 3.
  • The sculpture would make a great permanent addition to the bayfront .It is admired by locals and visitors alike and makes a wonderful statement .Kudos to the gentleman who is willing to purchase it for the city.
    Wed 12th Aug 2009
    at 6:28pm
  • 4.
  • Its a no-brainer. The city of Sarasota should accept the offer and keep "Unconditional Surrender" in Bayfront Park, where it belongs, and has become a major attraction for vistors to the city. Especially so, since the statue commemorates what was probably the highest point in America's history...victory over the REAL axis of evil.
  • roy diton
    Wed 12th Aug 2009
    at 3:16pm
  • 5.
  • "Unconditional Surrender" is a most patriotic piece placed in a location of prominance. Sarasota is an incredibly patriotic city, comprised of many of the so called "Greatest Generation" byTom Brokaw.
    I support it's remaining in it's present location on the bay front.
    D.R. Zaccone
    Golden Gate Point
  • D R Zaccone
    Wed 12th Aug 2009
    at 11:56am
  • 6.
  • We need and 'Public Art Committe' to make a decision about the Unconditional Surrender??? I always enjoyed the artwork along the bay front. But, unmistakeably Unconditional Surrender has drawn the most interest from the public. Like so many other issues in today's society, the public interest is at risk of being trumped by special interest.
  • Larry Zeigler
    Wed 12th Aug 2009
    at 11:22am
  • 7.
  • Perhaps we shouldn't be too hard on Virginia Hoffman and her position on "Unconditional Surrender"(the sailor and the nurse). Every community has its elitist art critics who maintain their status with a position that only their special group can appreciate "real art" and anything that the majority of folks might like, by definition, can't be art. She probably loved the ridiculous array of old cars stood on end.

    With the generous offer to buy the sculpture, it would be a mistake to turn it down because of an elitiest minority view. My mother (93) loved it when she visited. She was in NY on the day it happened. I love it (69). My children(40s) loved it when they visited. My grandchildren(10-16) loved it. It is a wonderful, uplifting piece of art that we are lucky to have in a perfect place by the marina.

    Shame on you Art Committee if you don't keep it.

    Gabriel Rosica
    Longboat Key SnowBird
  • Gabriel Rosica
    Wed 12th Aug 2009
    at 11:08am
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