City Council: 'Surfing Madonna' mosaic must come down - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

City Council: 'Surfing Madonna' mosaic must come down

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    Mystery men in hardhats installed a stained-glass mosaic of a surfing Our Lady of Guadalupe to a wall supporting a train bridge in Encinitas. 
    Mystery men in hardhats installed a stained-glass mosaic of a surfing Our Lady of Guadalupe to a wall supporting a train bridge in Encinitas. 

ENCINITAS (CBS 8) - The Encinitas City Council has decided that a stained glass mosaic of a surfing Madonna must come down. The artwork on a railroad bridge support along Encinitas Boulevard has become a popular attraction, but the City Council ruled it was put up without permission and must go.

Stan Gafner was one of dozens of residents who addressed Encinitas City Council members Wednesday night. He argued the 10-by-10 "Surfing Madonna" mosaic wasn't sanctioned by the city, and is technically graffiti that needed to be removed.

The mural features Our Lady of Guadalupe surfing a wave next to a slogan that reads "Save our Ocean". The art mysteriously appeared last month, and has since attracted hundreds of looky-loos and media outlets from around the country.

City Council members say while they like the stained glass mural, leaving it up sets a bad example and could open the city up to legal action by future taggers or artists.

After several rounds of heated comment, council members voted unanimously to spend $2,000 for an arts conservation agency to study how to remove the artwork without damaging it.

Longtime resident Robey Maguire says the move is a waste of taxpayer money, and wants city leaders to reconsider.

"Whoever made this is a master. I think the city should really cherish what they've got. It's an amazing thing," Maguire said.

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