Encinitas Considers Mosaic Removal Methods

Consultants may experiment with chemical, heat and mechanical tools

By Michael Gehlken
|  Friday, May 13, 2011  |  Updated 5:54 AM PDT
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Surfing Madonna: Raw Video

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Surfing Madonna: Raw Video

A stained-glass mosaic mysteriously appeared on Encinitas Boulevard between Highway 101 and Vulcan Avenue.
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Think Encinitas wants to preserve its surfing Madonna mosaic?

On Wednesday night, Encinitas Councilwoman Maggie Houilahan arrived to City Hall with postcard images of the artwork while dressed in a T-shirt reading “Save the mosaic."

Later, she and the rest of the City Council discussed how they could.

The elected officials reviewed a rough-draft report produced by city-hired consultants, who indicated their wish to test chemical, heat and mechanical removal methods on the popular mosaic, according to The North County Times.

It is the latest City Council step to remove the popular yet unapproved usage of public property without destroying the popular 10 foot x 10 foot mural.

The mosic depicts Our Lady of Guadalupe on a surfboard with the phrase "Save the Ocean" to its left. It appeared last month under the train trestle on Encinitas Boulevard between Highway 101 and Vulcan Avenue in Encinitas.

Assistant City Manager Richard Phillips told The North County Times that consultants asked the city for permission to test various removal techniques on the mosaic before ruling whether it can come down without significant harm.

Phillips said the consultants want to attempt to remove it with heat, chemicals and a narrow blade saw, The North County Times reported.

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