Kissing statue back where it belongs

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The replacement “kiss” statue depicting a sailor
stealing a kiss from a nurse at the end of World War II was permanently bolted
to its pedestal at the San Diego waterfront Wednesday.

A crane hoisted the 25-foot-tall statue onto the pedestal at the G
Street Mole at the downtown San Diego waterfront.

The replacement “kiss” statue arrived at the San Diego waterfront
Monday morning and was temporarily set up so the location to place bolts could
be marked. It was then taken down until today's installation, said Scott
McGaugh of the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum.

The statue replaces “Unconditional Surrender,” the 6,000-pound
sculpture by J. Seward Johnson that was loaned to San Diego from 2007 to early
last year. That statue is owned by the Santa Monica-based nonprofit Sculpture
Foundation and was taken from San Diego to New Jersey for restoration.

The original is made of a foam core with a urethane outer layer and is
susceptible to weather damage, while the replacement is made of more durable

Both the original and the replacement evoke the famed 1945 Life magazine
photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt in Times Square in New York when the
end of World War II was announced, although Johnson said the work was actually
based on a similar but less well known V-J Day in Times Square photograph taken
by Victor Jorgensen.

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

A dedication ceremony is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m., in which
several couples married during World War II are expected to renew their vows.

Categories: KUSI