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Statue of famous kiss at end of WWII may stay longer in San Diego

The "Unconditional Surrender" sculpture -- modeled after a iconic photo of a sailor and a nurse kissing while celebrating the end of World War II -- is set to depart its spot on the San Diego waterfront at the end of the month.

But the Port Commission may decide to keep it a little longer near the carrier museum Midway.

The 25-foot tall sculpture, owned by the Santa Monica-based Sculpture Foundation, has been on loan to the Port of San Diego since 2007. A favorite of tourists for taking vacation pictures, the sculpture is set to be dismantled by the end of February and shipped off to a park and sculpture garden in New Jersey.

"It is due to leave at the end of the month, but there is the chance for an extension of another three months," said Port spokesman Ron Powell. "Now the board of port commissioners can decide if that's the direction it wants to give to staff."

The famous kiss took place in 1945 in New York's Times Square after Japan surrendered, ending the war.


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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