The photo of an overjoyed soldier kissing an unidentified woman in Times Square after the end of World War II has become an iconic part of Americana. So much so, in fact, that it has been immortalized into an enormous 25-foot statue that resides in San Diego. Still, while visiting the structure has become a popular part of United States travel over the last several years, some area residents aren't convinced, reports NBC affiliate KNTV.
Known as "Unconditional Surrender," the statue first came to San Diego in 2007 when it was on loan from The Sculpture Foundation, but eventually the city's USS Midway Museum started a fund to build a permanent version of the famous image. Despite the fact nearly everyone recognizes where the statue drew its inspiration, San Diego's arts committee said it was not artistically or aesthetically pleasing, a statement that did not sit well with many of the city's veterans and local officials.
"We are in San Diego, we have the greatest number of veterans and active duty of any community in the nation," San Diego Mayor Bob Filner told KNTV. "This belongs here."
Despite the opposition from the art community, the statue has remained a popular tourist destination, according to NBC's Today Show. In fact, nine couples who tied the knot during World War II recently renewed their vows at this iconic landmark.
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