Sarasota's 'Unconditional Surrender' statue vandalized with '#MeToo' phrase

The iconic "Unconditional Surrender" sculpture in Sarasota was vandalized with a 'MeToo' message overnight.

Sarasota police said they responded to a tip just before 1 a.m. Tuesday. When they arrived at the intersection of North Gulfstream Avenue and Bayfront Drive, they found the phrase "#MeToo" written in red along the length of nurse's left leg.

The statue is modeled after the famous 'kissing photo' taken in Times Square on the day Japan surrendered in 1945, ending World War II.

The discovery was made a day after the sailor in that photo died at the age of 95.

No suspects or spray bottles were found nearby. Officers said there is no surveillance video or known witnesses. It's believed the vandalism occurred on Monday between the mid-afternoon and evening hours.

By 9 a.m., John Cloud with local cleaners Gorilla Kleen had pressure-washed and scrubbed the red writing off the statue. The damage is estimated to be around $1,000 "due to the large area that the graffiti covers," police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sarasota Police Department at 941-954-7025 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at