June 10th, 2011

Our Lady Of Guadalupe Surfing In Encinitas

Should she stay or should she go; we vote stay! Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe is a celebrated Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary. This is a mosaic of her surfing on a wall along side Encintas blvd. and PCH in North County San Diego California that was put up without permission from a group of artist dressed in city workers attire with the wording Save The Ocean on the side.

According to tradition, Juan Diego, a simple indigenous peasant, saw a vision of a young woman on December 9, 1531. While he was on the hill in the desert of Tepeyac near Mexico City, the lady told him to build a church exactly on the spot where they were standing. He told the local bishop, who asked for some proof. He went back and saw the vision again. He told the lady that the bishop wanted proof, and she said “Bring the roses behind you.” When he looked behind, he saw a bunch of roses growing. He cut the roses, placed them in his poncho and returned to the bishop. When he arrived to the bishop, he said he had brought proof. When he opened his poncho, instead of roses there was a picture of the young lady in the vision. Today, the icon is displayed in the Basilica of Guadalupe nearby, one of the most visited Catholic shrines in the world.[1] The Virgin of Guadalupe is Mexico’s most popular religious and cultural image, with the titles “Queen of Mexico”,[2] “Empress of the Americas”,[3] and “Patroness of the Americas”;[4] both Miguel Hidalgo (in the Mexican War of Independence) and Emiliano Zapata (during the Mexican Revolution) carried flags bearing the Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Guadalupe Victoria, the first Mexican president changed his name in honor of the icon.

June 23, 2011 Update:
Surfing Madonna removed; no damage
By Jonathan Horn

The Surfing Madonna is taken down by Tekton Master Builders, closing Encinitas Boulevard to traffic. — Sean M. Haffey

ENCINITAS — Crews on Wednesday night removed the Surfing Madonna mosaic from the base of a train bridge on Encinitas Boulevard.

The removal began at 9 p.m. and ended at 10:50 p.m.

The city of Encinitas and artist Mark Patterson had announced Tuesday that the unauthorized stained-glass piece would come down “as soon as possible” but did not specify a date or time.

“It’s moving forward, it’s happening,” Patterson said as it was occurring, adding that there was no damage to the piece. Tekton Master Builders was the contractor for the removal.

Sheriff’s deputies closed Encinitas Boulevard from Coast Highway 101 to Vulcan Avenue to give workers room to take down the mosaic.

As a crowd gathered to watch, some expressed disappointment.

Hilda Oatley, a 44-year Encinitas resident, was driving by and pulled over when she saw workers at the site.

“When I saw the lights, I felt in my heart, ‘Why?’ It’s really beautiful. They really should have just left it alone,” she said.

At Leucadia Pizzeria, across the street from the site, waitress Mindy Mitchell said: “I understand the principal of why they have to take it down, but at the same time it’s a masterpiece.”

The piece depicts Our Lady of Guadalupe on a surfboard with the words “Save the Ocean” down the side. Patterson and another person installed the mosaic April 22 without permission from the city.

The mosaic, however, is graffiti under Encinitas municipal code, and city officials said it must come down.

Patterson, 58, came forward June 8 after a city-commissioned study revealed the piece could not be removed without major damage. His attorney, Anton Gerschler, contacted Encinitas officials to say Patterson was the artist and knew how to remove the 10-foot-by-10-foot piece intact and in a way that would leave only 18 screw holes in the train bridge.

The removal was faster than expected. It had been estimated it would take five hours, a project contractor said earlier.

The sides negotiated for two weeks. On Tuesday, the city and Patterson announced a deal that would allow the artist to retain ownership of the mosaic and not be charged with graffiti.

Patterson, however, would be required to pay for removal, reimburse the city for the $2,125 it spent on a conservation studio’s study of the mosaic, and pay an additional $500 administrative fine. He will also need to pay for any inspection or repair to the train bridge caused by his piece. He also agreed to never affix artwork on city property without permission again.

Patterson said he will now focus on finding a permanent home for the Madonna in Encinitas. He said it is not for sale.

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