San Diego Business Journal

San Diego Won’t Surrender Tourist Draw Just Yet

Monday, February 27, 2012

The sculpture and popular visitor attraction known as Unconditional Surrender — showing a sailor and nurse locked in an embrace — will remain on downtown San Diego’s waterfront at least through through mid-May, according to the Port of San Diego.

A Feb. 24 port statement said officials have reached an agreement with the Santa Monica-based Sculpture Foundation, which owns the 25-foot attraction, to extend the loan, which was due to expire this month.

The loan of the statue, currently located on port-controlled land near the USS Midway Museum, has been extended several times in recent years.

The sculpture, created by Seward Johnson and first loaned to the port in 2007, depicts an iconic photo image captured in New York’s Times Square, during a celebration of the end of World War II.

Port officials said thousands of local and international visitors have stood beneath the towering sculpture, taking photos and re-creating the famous kiss. Some of the sculpture’s most ardent local supporters attended the Feb. 14 meeting of the Board of Port Commissioners, urging another extension of the loan.

— Lou Hirsh