A Home for Surfing Madonna

Famous mosaic is balancing on the edge of county and state property


Encinitas’ famous mosaic of a surfing Madonna will have a new home, just as soon as a committee settles a debate over where her permanent mainstay should be.

The Encinitas Commission for the Arts met Friday to brainstorm ideas on the Surfing Madonna’s next location, the North County Times reported.

The 10-foot-by-10-foot mosaic had a rocky past after it mysteriously appeared under a railroad bridge on Encinitas Blvd. City officials attempted to evict it from the underpass, saying that the mosaic was unauthorized, but couldn’t do so without destroying it.

At that point, the secretive artist Mark Patterson stepped forward to claim the surfing Madonna as his own. He paid for the removal in June and began looking for a place to reinstall her.

After deliberations, he settled on loaning it to the city of Encinitas, as long as the city would agree to put it on the corner of Encinitas Boulevard and Coast Highway 101, just down the street from the original location.

Two governments – the state and Encinitas – own that property, so the approval process has presented yet another obstacle in the surfing Madonna’s history. The Encinitas commission will present recommendations to the city Monday, which, if approved will be sent to a state review board.

For more information on the commission and its recommendations, check out the North County Times’ website.

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