The 10-foot by 10-foot mosaic called the "Surfing Madonna" appeared a few days before Easter on the bridge east of Highway 101 in Encinitas. The Madonna, wearing wetsuit booties, is surfing the face of a wave and appears with the slogan, "Save the Ocean."
The mosaic was put up in the middle of the day by mystery men in hardhats near a busy intersection. The installers haven't identified themselves, and it's unclear whether the bridge is owned by the city or North County Transit District.
While some residents said they like the mosaic, others said it's blasphemous. Officials said that it is an unauthorized use of public property - whether or not it's art.
Encinitas' public art pieces must be approved after a formal review process. Officials are considering removing the mosaic.
The Associated Press contributed to the story