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Sarasota Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 7 months ago

Unconditional Surrender statue struck by graffiti

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#MeToo spray painted on Sarasota landmark.
by: Eric Garwood Managing Editor

A 21st century symbol supporting survivors of sexual harassment and violence was spray-painted on Sarasota’s Unconditional Surrender statue, which commemorates the end of World War II, police said.

Sarasota police Tuesday morning reported finding #MeToo painted in red on one leg of the 25-foot tall memorial at U.S. 41 and Gulfstream Avenue. Officers spotted the graffiti around 12:53 a.m. Tuesday, and police said the incident likely took place sometime between Monday afternoon and evening.

No surveillance footage of the incident has yet been found, and no witnesses have come forward.

Police said the damage is estimated at about $1,000 and the city’s Public Works Department was notified.

The statue depicts the scene captured in 1945 in New York's Times Square by Life photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt on VJ Day, marking the end of World War II. George Mendonsa, the World War II veteran identified as the sailor in the iconic photo kissing nurse Greta Zimmer Friedman, died on Sunday at age 95 in Rhode Island.

Cleanup of the graffiti was already underway Tuesday morning.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Sarasota Police Department Patrol Division at 941-954-7025 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com

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