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New 'Surfing Madonna' Art Could Hit Southern California Beaches

The Surfing Madonna in Encinitas
Alison St John
The Surfing Madonna in Encinitas

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Southern California's famous "Surfing Madonna" may soon have company.

The stained-glass mosaic of the Virgin of Guadalupe catching a wave next to the message "Save the Ocean" was illegally placed under an Encinitas bridge three years ago.

It was removed and eventually found a new home near a surf shop in Leucadia.

Now, artist Mark Patterson tells U-T San Diego that other artists will create their own interpretations of his Madonna, including one in bronze.

A new nonprofit group, the Surfing Madonna Oceans Project, will find homes for the artwork along the state's coastline in a campaign to raise awareness about environmental threats to the sea.

The project hopes to raise funds with a beach run this fall in Encinitas.