ENCINITAS, Calif. -- The artist who installed a mosaic of  the Virgin of Guadalupe on a surfboard under a train overpass has reached an agreement with the city to help remove the artwork so it can be relocated somewhere else.

Mark Patterson will act as technical consultant to help crews disassemble the mosaic, popularly known as the "Surfing Madonna," so that it can be removed without damage, according to a joint news release from the artist and Encinitas Deputy Mayor Richard Phillips.

"The new location has yet to be determined," Patterson wrote, "but it is my high priority to find a new venue within Encinitas -- and bring the Surfing Madonna and her important message of 'Save The Ocean' --  back into public view in our community as soon as possible."

"I thought it was such a beautiful, brilliant thing to do and everyone seems to like it, " said Carla Zubiria, from Arizona, who rode her bike from a friend's house to se the mosaic.

"It's too bad it can't stay here. But the message was there I'm taking the message with me on camera and I'm going to spread it around, " said Zubiria.

With the countdown to the Surfing Madonna's removal on, some have made special trips to see the mosaic.

"I really wanted to see what it looked like up close. It really makes people think on a more serious level, " said Susan Nicholas.

Patterson said the mosaic was not for sale and was a gift to the community.

"Maybe 'mission accomplished' for him, and maybe now it's going thru another transformation," said Zubiria.

According to an agreement negotiated last week between Patterson and the city, the artist will:
  • Obtain a city permit at his cost to remove the mosaic as soon as possible,
  • Pay for a safety inspection of the bridge underpass,
  • Pay for any repairs to the bridge underpass caused by the placement or removal of the mosaic,
  • Reimburse the city $2,125 for the cost of the expert hired to evaluate how to remove the mosaic without damaging it,
  • Pay an administrative fine of $500 to the city,
  • And refrain from placing other artwork on public property without city authorization
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.