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Statue of Famous WWII Kiss Erected in Times Square for Kiss-athon

By DNAinfo Staff on August 13, 2010 7:45am  | Updated on August 13, 2010 11:16am

By Jill Colvin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MIDTOWN — Get ready for some serious PDA.

The Times Square Alliance has erected a giant statue of a famous New York City kiss at 44th Street and Broadway to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the ending of World War II.

The statue marks the spot of the annual Kiss-In, which will take place this Saturday in Times Square.

The event commemorates the moment when soldiers returning home from World War II were reunited with their loved ones. The alliance has extended a special invitation to couples whose kisses bridge boundaries like religion, politics or race. They're also hoping veterans of WWII, returning soldiers from Iraq and couples in costume will come out for the occasion.

The 26-foot statue, by artist Seward Johnson, is a recreation of the iconic LIFE Magazine cover shot of the kiss between a U.S. sailor and nurse. 

Carl Muscarello and Edith Shain claimed to be the nurse and sailor in the famous photograph taken on V-J Day on Aug. 15, 1965. Alfred Eisenstaedt took the famous photograph in Times Square but did not note the names of the people in the picture.

The statue, entitled "Unconditional Surrender," will be on display through Monday.

The Kiss-In is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday and will feature music from the 1940s as well as prizes for "best themes couples" and "most symbolic kiss." Prizes will include dinners, free hotel stays and tickets to Broadway shows.

Couples who want to get in on the action can pre-register for the event on the Times Square Alliance's website.