News World Statue of WWII kiss vandalised with #MeToo, day after US sailor’s death

Statue of WWII kiss vandalised with #MeToo, day after US sailor’s death

A hashtag used with sexual abuse stories was sprayed on the statue. Photo: Sarasota Police Department
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A statue depicting the moment a US sailor kissed a woman in New York’s Times Square at the end of World War II has been defaced with graffiti reading #MeToo.

The incident happened a day after the sailor, George Mendonsa, died at 95 and amid increased scrutiny of the moment, which was captured in what has become a famous photograph from August 14, 1945 – known as VJ Day.

There has been controversy about whether the photo celebrates sexual assault since the pictured nurse, Greta Zimmer Friedman, said during a 2005 interview with the Veterans History Project that it was not her choice to be kissed.

“The guy just came over and kissed or grabbed,” Ms Friedman told the Library of Congress.

“It was just somebody really celebrating, but it wasn’t a romantic event.”

George Mendonsa, a sailor, and a woman kiss in New York’s Times Square, as people celebrate the end of World War II. Photo: AAP

#MeToo is a hashtag that is being widely used on Twitter and Facebook by women sharing their stories of sexual abuse.

It has also come to represent a larger international movement against men’s abuse of power.

The City of Sarasota has removed the graffiti on the Unconditional Surrender statue, with police estimating the damage was worth about $US1000 ($1396).

Police said the culprit or culprits remain unidentified, with no witnesses or surveillance video in the area at the time.


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