Statue of WW2 sailor kissing woman vandalised with ‘#MeToo’ tag

Shot of George Mendonsa, Greta Zimmer Friedman captured when Japan surrendered in 1945


Police in Florida want to know who spray-painted “#MeToo” on the leg of a statue depicting a sailor and a dental assistant kissing at the end of the second World War.

Officers found the phrase painted in red on the left leg of the woman in the Unconditional Surrender statue in Sarasota. The paint covered the length of the nurse’s leg.

Police said officers did not find any spray paint bottles in the area, and no other objects were defaced. Authorities estimate the damage to the statue at more than US$1,000.

George Mendonsa, the sailor who kissed dental assistant Greta Zimmer Friedman, died on Sunday aged 95.


Mendonsa fell and had a seizure at the assisted living facility in Middletown, Rhode Island, where he lived with his wife of 70 years, his daughter Sharon Molleur told The Providence Journal.

The photograph that led to the statue was taken on August 14th, 1945, known as VJ Day, which was the day Japan surrendered to the United States.

People spilled into the New York City streets to celebrate the news. Mr Mendonsa planted a kiss on Ms Friedman, whom he had never met.

The photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt was first published in Life magazine and became one of the most famous photographs of the 20th century.

It is called V-J Day In Times Square, but is known to most as The Kiss. Several people later claimed to be the kissing couple. It was years before Mr Mendonsa and Ms Friedman were identified.

The grafitti has since been removed, the city of Sarasota said in a Twitter post. - AP