ENCINITAS — The city of Encinitas announced in a statement June 21 that the unsanctioned “Surfing Madonna” mosaic placed on the Encinitas Boulevard rail bridge underpass must come down.
The city and mosaic artist Mark Patterson along with his attorney Anton C. Gerschler have reached an agreement saying that Patterson will remove the mosaic as soon as possible, pay for any repairs necessary to the bridge underpass caused by the artwork, reimburse the city $2,125 for the cost of the art conservancy firm Sculpture Conservation Studio, Inc. to inspect the mosaic and pay an administrative fine of $500 to the city.
Patterson has also been asked to refrain from placing any works of art on public property without city permission.
The statement said that Patterson retains ownership of the mosaic and acknowledges the artist’s preference to relocate the mosaic within Encinitas.
Patterson and friend Bob Nichols installed the unsanctioned mosaic April 22. Patterson has insisted, since coming forward, that the mosaic was meant as a gift to the city. He stepped forward only after experts inspecting the mosaic found the words “Ark Patterson,” signed on one of the upper corners of the piece. Patterson did admit to signing the piece but told The Coast News in an interview that it wasn’t on purpose.