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Various Authors 4:09 p.m., May 27
The "Save the Ocean Mosaic," better known as the "Surfing Madonna," is one step closer to finding a new home.
On Wednesday, members of the Encinitas City Council unanimously approved a proposal to move the 10-foot-by-10-foot mosaic, which shows the Virgen de Guadalupe dropping in on a wave, to the entrance to Moonlight Beach, at the northwest corner of Encinitas Boulevard and Coast Highway 101.
The new location is just one block from the pillar where Mark Patterson installed the piece under the cover of night in April 2011.
The proposal consists of Patterson lending the artwork to the City for 100 years in exchange for displaying it on public property. Patterson and the Surfing Madonna Oceans Foundation will pay for the installation and upkeep required.
During the meeting, residents, as well the city's arts commissioner, implored councilmembers to support the proposal.
"This [mosaic] put this city on the map," said arts commissioner Tim Lueker. "There's been national media attention, cameras in city council chambers, and even art commission meetings, which was sort of a shock. So, the city is getting a lot of publicity and tourists are going to come see this."
Patterson also spoke to the council about the agreement.
"I would just like to thank you all. From my perspective, the mosaic that I created has a very important message, a secular message, delivered by a cultural icon. The message is 'to save the ocean.' "
The council agreed to the plan and will ask the California State Parks Agency to allow the installation.
Patterson hopes the piece will be up by June.
Image of the "Save The Oceans Mosaic from the city council agenda