ENCINITAS, Calif. -- Exactly two months after the "Surfing Madonna" mosaic appeared under a train overpass in Encinitas, construction crews dismantled it Wednesday night.
San Diego sheriffs blocked traffic at 9 p.m. from traveling under the bridge on Encinitas Boulevard between Coast Highway and Vulcan Avenue as crews worked on taking down the mosaic of the Virgin of Guadalupe on a surfboard. It took crews almost two hours to complete the removal, and there was no damage to the piece.
The nearly 10-by10 foot mosaic was crafted from hundreds of pieces of stones, tiles, and stained glass, but was not permitted to be constructed on the city property.
Mark Patterson who installed the mosaic on Earth Day 2011, reached an agreement Tuesday with the city to help remove the artwork so it can be relocated somewhere else. He paid for the removal and was on scene as a technical consultant to help crews disassemble the mosaic.
"I feel content. I'm excited about the possibility of it being in a new location in Encinitas and easier for people to view," Patterson said. "I'm looking forward and the important message is being communicated that saving the ocean is something that people really need to be aware of."
Patterson said the mosaic was not for sale and was a gift to the community. He did not disclose the new location for the piece.
For its part, the city acknowledged that Patterson owns the mosaic and supports his effort to relocate it to a more appropriate location in Encinitas, Deputy City Manager Richard Phillips said.