Using hammers and plastic wrap, a team of four workers carefully removed the so-called Surfing Madonna mosaic late Wednesday night.
One by one, panels of tile came down from the train trestle near the corner of Vulcan Avenue and Encinitas Boulevard. Workers then carefully placed the panels inside a waiting vehicle.
A Leucadia man who created and installed the popular Surfing Madonna mosaic on Encinitas public property agreed to oversee the artwork's removal and pay thousands of dollars in fees.
Mark Patterson, 58, will retain ownership of the mosaic.
The piece-by-piece extraction will allow Patterson to reinstall the Surfing Madonna at a new location, which he said "has yet to be determined."