Editor's Note: The City of Encinitas released the following announcement March 16.
On January 25, 2012 the Encinitas City Council approved installation of Save the Ocean mosaic known as The Surfing Madonna at an entry area to the Moonlight State Beach, subject to the State’s approval. The State of California Department Park and Recreation officials informed the City Manager’s Office that upon the State’s consideration and based upon an opinion of the State Attorney General, the City’s request is denied.
On December 2, 2011 the City of Encinitas received application from artist, Mark Patterson, for a long-term installation of the Save the Oceans mosaic on public property operated by the City of Encinitas. The proposed location for the installation was the entry area at the northwest corner of South Coast Highway 101 and B Street, part of the Moonlight Beach State Beach property. Moonlight Beach recreational area is state owned property operated by the City of Encinitas under a long term lease agreement.
The City sent a letter to the District Superintendent of State Department of Parks and Recreation on February 7, 2012 requesting consideration of the request. State officials met with City representatives on March 15 to inform them of their decision to deny the placement of the mosaic based on an opinion of the State Attorney General Office that placement of the Save the Ocean Madonna mosaic on public state property would violate the California Constitution. Consequently, at this point, Mr. Patterson’s application to the City for installation and exhibit of the artwork on public property must be denied.