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Surfing Madonna mosaic in Encinitas may get new location

December 6, 2011 |  6:40 pm


The Surfing Madonna mosaic that caused a buzz for weeks in the northern San Diego County community of Encinitas before being removed from public property may be headed for another outdoor display spot.

The city's art commission Monday night approved an idea from the artist, Mark Patterson, that it be relocated to a spot close to Moonlight Beach. The cost of relocation would be handled through donations.

The 10-foot-square stained-glass mosaic has been in storage since being removed in late June from the wall of a railroad underpass along Encinitas Boulevard. City officials had ordered the removal.

The relocation idea needs approval from the City Council and the state government, which owns the land where Patterson wants to display his artwork.

The artist, who put up the mosaic in late April without city approval and kept his identity secret for weeks, says the message of the mosaic is environmental, not religious. The mosaic has Our Lady of Guadalupe riding a surfboard, alongside the words "Save the Ocean."

--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Surfing Madonna mosaic before being taken down. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times