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Surfing Madonna Mosaic Draws Mass Following In Encinitas, Calif.

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The recently installed image of the Virgin of Guadalupe on a surfboard is a popular attraction in Encinitas, Calif. | AP

ENCINITAS, Calif. (AP) -- A mosaic of a surfing Madonna that is stuck to a wall under a train bridge in the California beach city of Encinitas is technically graffiti under the law.

But her beauty is drawing a mass following, and city officials have spent thousands hiring an art agency to see about removing her without causing damage.

The Los Angeles-based art conservation agency, Sculpture Conservation Studio, on Tuesday began testing ways to safely remove the 10-by-10-foot rock and glass mosaic. But it concluded in a recent report that there's no better spot for the Surfing Madonna than under the overpass, protected from the sun and rain.

Mystery artists disguised as construction workers attached the mosaic to the concrete wall last month. They used a strong epoxy glue.

The mayor says the artwork will go to a local, private business where it can still be easily viewed.


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