24 June 2011

Encinitas removes mosaic of Surfing Madonna from railroad bridge

Encinitas removes mosaic of Surfing Madonna from railroad bridge, by Mike Anton (Los Angeles Times, 24 June 2011)

Excerpts:
Our Lady of Guadalupe mysteriously appeared in Encinitas a few days before Easter, not on a piece of toast, but riding a surfboard with her palms joined in prayer and an enigmatic Mona Lisa smile. She arrived seemingly out of thin air — beautifully rendered in a 10-foot-square mosaic of stained glass and stone that had been attached to a concrete railroad bridge without anyone noticing. Mother Mary's stance in the tube of a Tahitian-sized wave indicated she was no amateur. Her right foot forward on the board made her a goofy foot. Who knew?

"Save the Ocean" was spelled out down the artwork's left side. Locals in this funky San Diego County beach town called her the Surfing Madonna. Pilgrims paid tribute, taking photos and leaving flowers and the occasional votive candle. City officials, though, labeled the work graffiti and began the process of having it removed. The affair was reported on locally and eventually went viral, with Facebook and Twitter pages rallying to save the Surfing Madonna.
Link: Encinitas removes mosaic of Surfing Madonna from railroad bridge


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