Unconditional Surrender may retreat to new location

Editor & Publisher

In a meeting on Aug. 5, the City of Sarasota’s Public Art Committee unanimously – all seven members – agreed to recommend that the Unconditional Surrender sculpture be moved from its Bayfront location to the Sahib Shriners on Beneva Road.

The non-profit Sahib Shriners has offered to bear the cost of relocating the statue as well as maintaining the popular attraction indefinitely.

The issue of moving the statue arose in part because it would have to be temporarily relocated at the very least, during the construction of the roundabout, which is destined for US 41 and Gulfstream Avenue. The sculpture is a popular photo attraction for tourists and a reminder for many in the community of our nation’s triumph in World War II.

Others have decried the artwork as a kitschy blight on the landscape with an offensive undertone of sexual aggression toward women.

Sarasota City Commission will consider the Public Art Committee’s recommendation in September. If the City agrees, the sculpture could soon be moved to the Shriners location at 600 North Beneva Road.

The sculpture was erected in 2009 with the condition that it remain at the Bayfront location until at least 2019.

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