City Of Encinitas, Artist Agree To Remove 'Surfing Madonna'

Mark Patterson To Pay For Mural Removal, Wants To Relocate It Within Encinitas

The "Surfing Madonna" mosaic displayed on an Encinitas railroad bridge support will be removed, and the artist has agreed to pay for the artwork to be taken down.

According to information obtained by 10News, artist Mark Patterson and the city of Encinitas have agreed to remove the mural from its current location on Encinitas Boulevard.

The 10-foot by 10-foot glass mosaic shows what appears to be the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe riding a surfboard with the words "Save the Ocean" on the side.

According to the city, Patterson agreed to:

-- remove the mural as soon as is reasonably possible, at his cost -- pay for a safety inspection and repairs of the railroad overpass, if necessary -- reimburse the city $2,125 it paid to an art conservancy firm retained to figure out how to remove the mural without damaging it -- pay the city an administrative fee of $500 -- not place any unauthorized works of art on city property again

"The thing we worked out with the city is very fair," said Patterson. "I would like it to have a home where it will be safe and secure and enjoyed."

In a statement, Patterson said, "The new location has yet to be determined, 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 promise you, she is not for sale and she will be coming back as originally intended…as my gift to the community of Encinitas and all who visit here."

The city acknowledged Patterson's ownership of the mural and his preference to relocate the work within Encinitas.

10News identified at least four possible locations where the mosaic could resurface: the 7-Eleven on D Street, Captain Keno's, the Surfy Surfy Surf Shop and the Quail Botanical Gardens.

Visitors to Encinitas told 10News they were thrilled to know the mosaic is staying in Encinitas.

"Someone who's willing to preserve that and allow that to continue… I think that's an excellent thing for the community," said Pete Anderson, who is visiting from Florida.

Anderson's wife Lynn added, "I think it's wonderful. I think it's generous of [Patterson] to do that."

Patterson said crews will carefully remove the mosaic in rectangular panels, one at a time.

During that process, he expects there to be some minor damage, which he has agreed to repair. He told 10News it should be gone from the underpass within a week.

The rogue art was installed by a fake construction crew on April 22 and has been a highly discussed topic in and around the Encinitas area.

"I know that it wasn't authorized, but it's beautiful," said Oceanside resident Diana Santiago, who posed for pictures in front of the artwork. "It's just remarkable that somebody took the time and took that money and their energy to make this."

A large number of citizens have voiced support of the mural, calling the artwork something that has unique value.

"[It's] uniting the Latino community, surfers, ocean-lovers, environmentalists, and promoting ocean awareness in a way that's playful," said a supporter.

Patterson, a Leucadia resident, told 10News earlier this month he was touched by the community's efforts to support his artwork.

"It's just unbelievably touching to me. It makes me cry, frankly. I get choked up because it's so overwhelming," said Patterson.

Patterson said he's learned a lot of good lessons during the last several weeks.

"It's my intent to work with the political process and the city processes, not to work against them," he said.

Patterson's lawyer told 10News that he and his client are now working to create a non-profit foundation that will preserve and maintain the art for generations to come.

An announcement on the mosaic's next location is not expected to be made for at least several months.

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