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California’s Surfing Madonna Mosaic Removed

Crews have removed the popular but illegal Surfing Madonna mosaic from the wall of a railroad bridge underpass near San Diego.

The Surfing Madonna mosaic under the railroad bridge at Encinitas boulevard
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Above: The Surfing Madonna mosaic under the railroad bridge at Encinitas boulevard

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the removal began at 9 p.m. Wednesday and was completed about two hours later.

Artist Mark Patterson agreed to pay for the removal of the 10-foot-by-10-foot stained glass work that mysteriously appeared days before Easter in the beach town of Encinitas.

Patterson says the piece was not damaged when it was taken down.

The colorful piece depicts the Virgin of Guadalupe surfing a wave along with the words "Save the Ocean."

The mosaic was considered graffiti under the municipal code and city officials said it must come down.

Patterson says he will now focus on finding a permanent home for the Madonna.

To see a video of the removal, courtesy of Ron Ranson, click here.

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