The local artist behind the "Surfing Madonna" mosaic in Encinitas talked to 10News Thursday about the possible criminal charges he may be facing.
Leucadia artist Mark Patterson said he put up the mural in the middle of the day -- 2 p.m. on April 22, which was Good Friday.
For nearly two months, Patterson's creation was the talk of Encinitas.
"I had no idea it would get this kind of excitement," said Patterson.
After remaining anonymous since the mosaic was put up on Encinitas Boulevard, Patterson told 10News he never meant to do any harm.
"It was pure inspiration for the nine months I worked on it," he said.
Now, Patterson may have to endure the consequences of putting up his artwork illegally.
"I guess I just have to wait and see. I really don't know what to expect at this point," said Patterson.
Encinitas City Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan said, "It was done without permits, it was done without approvals."
Houlihan told 10News that in her discussions with the city attorney and others close to the issue, they are hopeful for a positive or win-win solution.
"We are looking for a very fair, even-handed, humane solution that folks can feel accomplished our goals," said Houlihan.
Those goals include getting the mosaic moved to private property and getting it moved safely.
Experts from the Los Angeles-based Sculpture Conservation Studio were hired by the city -- at a cost of $2,000 -- to examine how the art was fixed onto the concrete wall.
When told there are community groups who said they would pay fees or fines if he is held responsible, Patterson became emotional.
"It's just unbelievably touching to me. It makes me cry, frankly. I get choked up because it's so overwhelming," said Patterson.
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