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From the Gorilla’s Mouth

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Pressure washers clean up Unconditional Surrender

by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

The Sarasota bayfront’s iconic “kissing sailor” statue got hosed down Tuesday morning.

Visitors to one of Sarasota’s most identifiable landmarks may have found themselves in a splash zone Tuesday morning, as crews worked to pressure clean the Unconditional Surrender statue.

Workers from Sarasota-based pressure-washing company Gorilla Kleen began the process at 8:30 a.m., with founder of the city’s public art fund, Tom Savage, on site to witness the clean-up effort.

John Cloud, the owner of Gorilla Kleen, said he believes the 26-foot-tall statue hadn’t been cleaned since it was temporarily removed for repairs after a car crashed into it. Although it might not seem obvious to visitors to Unconditional Surrender, Cloud said the artwork had accumulated its share of grime over the years.

Based on the progress so far this morning, Cloud believed the bayfront icon should be refreshed once the pressure washing is completed.

“Anything near a road gets dirty,” Cloud said. “Fortunately, it’s cleaning up really well.”

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