A bronze version of Unconditional Surrender, the sculpture featuring a sailor kissing a nurse while celebrating the end of World War II, will soon be installed along the downtown waterfront as part of the Port of San Diego's permanent public art collection.
The sculpture, known by its unofficial moniker "The Kiss," has attracted immense public interest and support. The Port of San Diego will formally accept the sculpture from the USS Midway at a public event on Saturday, February 16, at 10 a.m.
A temporary foam and urethane version of "Unconditional Surrender", which was created by New Jersey artist Seward Johnson, was loaned to the Port of San Diego beginning in 2007 and by popular demand was kept up much longer than originally scheduled, until 2012. The USS Midway Museum raised nearly $1 million to "save the kiss" with a durable bronze version, which has a painted finish like the original. The sculpture took about six months to construct. It is being installed this week at the Greatest Generation Walk along the downtown waterfront south of the USS Midway.
The sculpture site was prepared for the installation with new landscaping, walkways, Japanese friendship cherry trees, benches and lighting. The event, organized by the USS Midway, will include a performance by the U.S. Navy Southwest Band. Several couples married during World War II will renew their vows in front of the sculpture. For more information, visit midway.org.
About the Port:
The Port of San Diego is the fourth largest of th 11 ports in California. It was created by the state legislature in 1962. Since then, it has invested millions of dollars in public improvements in its five member cities – Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego.
The port oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 18 public parks, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of more than 600 tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.
The Port of San Diego is an economic engine, an environmental steward of San Diego Bay and the surrounding tidelands, and a provider of community services and public safety.