A sculpture of a surfer in Cardiff By the Sea has had the local community debating about a series of pranks played on the "Cardiff Kook," but on Tuesday the debate went national.
The Wall Street Journal published a story about the controversial statue, officially called the "Magic Carpet Ride", that just last week was dressed as a clown. The most notable prank was last July, when a local sculpture made a giant papier-mâché shark that swallowed the statue.
Cardiff surfers told the Wall Street Journal that the bronze surfer lacked proper from, including limp wrists and arms extended at odd angles.
The surfing statue, created by artist Matthew Antichevich, has been the source of strong criticism and a steady stream of pranks since it was first erected in 2007. It’s located off South Coast Highway and Chesterfield Dr.
Many people feel the statue, and more specifically, the surfer's pose, is not representative of the local surfing community. Over the years, the surfer, known affectionately as the "Cardiff Kook", has been dressed up in evening gowns, bikini tops and skirts, and even a wrestling mask. During Halloween, it was adorned with a giant pumpkin head.
The papier-mâché shark took about two weeks for a group of 25 friends to put together the "Jaws-like" creature made out of newspaper, wood and chicken wire. A group of more than a dozen moved it across a two-lane highway in the early morning hours without getting caught. It took the city more than 48 hours to remove it.
"My personal reaction is I love it," said Encinitas Mayor Dan Dalager. "The city's reaction is that we do not condone or encourage these kinds of things."
He said no legal action would be taken against the pranksters.
Cardiff By the Sea's Deputy City Manager Richard Phillips says it reminds him of college when kids decorate the school mascot. "It gets old," he said. Phillips says all of the pranks create more work for city crews and that their time could be better spent fixing potholes.
However, the Cardiff Kook is generating a lot of national attention for a tiny little city by the sea.