It’s official: The “Unconditional Surrender” statue of a sailor and nurse kissing is leaving San Diego.
The 25-foot sculpture has been located at the waterfront near the USS Midway Museum since 2007.
Now, according to the Port of San Diego, the smooching sculpture is scheduled to be moved all the way to Hamilton, New Jersey, right after Memorial Day, on May 30.
Art handlers provided by The Sculpture Foundation, which owns the statue, will use a crane and two flat-bed trucks to move the 6,000-pound statue to an artist’s studio in New Jersey, where it will be restored. They’ll also be transporting the statue’s 24,000-pound steel base.
But “Unconditional Surrender” may not be gone from San Diego for long.
A $1 million fundraising effort to replace the sculpture with a new bronze version is underway, spearheaded by the USS Midway Museum.
Back in March, the Board of Port Commissioners agreed to accept a local group’s offer to donate a permanent bronze version of “Unconditional Surrender” to the Port of San Diego.
Though bronze, the Port of San Diego said the new replica will look exactly the same in coloration to the sculpture that has been on display in Tuna Harbor since 2007.
The donation will also provide for landscaping, lighting and maintenance surrounding the sculpture.