ENCINITAS, Calif. -- Whether you feel it's art or graffiti, the mosaic, known as the Surfing Madonna will have to come down.
Last Wednesday, the Encinitas city council voted unanimously to bring down the glass mosaic, but agreed to spend $2,000 to an Los Angeles-based art conservation firm to look at ways to remove it.
It's still unclear exactly when or who will get the prized piece, but on Monday, residents and vistors came to pay last 'respects,' taking pictures, even posing next to it before it goes down from its current location off Encinitas Blvd.
"It speaks to me on a lot of different levels," said Karen Chiapetta of Point Loma.
"For someone to do this, and not spray paint it, is kind of cool," said Alfred McKelvey, also of Point Loma.
But who wants it ?
Local businesses have shown interest according to city officials. They include a 7-Eleven off D Street, a Catholic church off Encinitas Blvd, and the historic Captain Keno's Restaurant.
"There`s so many people on the highway that would stop to see it," said owner Jerry Sova.
Sova tells Fox 5 that if he gets the mosaic, he plans on hanging it on an outside wall. He will then provide an outdoor seating area so that customers and drivers along the highway can see it.
"I just put my name in the hat. And if I get it, I get it. And if I don`t, I don`t," he said.
There is also apparent interest from outside the city also. A group of men claiming to be hired by a business owner in Solana Beach, were seen taking measurements of the 10X10 glass mosaic on Monday morning. Fox 5 tried contacting the owner, but they could not be reached for comment.
Many Encinitas residents expressed concern if it did leave Encinitas.
"It would be better if it stayed here in Encinitas," said resident Karen Mackenzie. "I really think they (the artists) wanted it here, so it should stay here."
City councilmember Maggie Houlihan said the city is still working on the details for the process for interested parties to get the mosaic. She said she would also like to see the Surfing Madonna to remain in Encinitas.
"At some point, we`ll work through it so that we`ll get a great solution," said Houlihan. "So that even when it`s on private property, it will still be able to be enjoyed."
Other groups from Encinitas and Leucadia have also offered to find a home for the mosaic.
Many interested in Surfing Madonna mosaic
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