Image: Surfers look at sculpture in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif.
John Koster  /  AP
Surfers examine the "Magic Carpet Ride" sculpture in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 7/26/2010 7:18:06 AM ET 2010-07-26T11:18:06

Predawn pranksters have surrounded a roadside surfer statue with a papier mache model of a great white shark that appeared to be swallowing it whole.

Crowds of gawkers and photographers gathered around the 16-foot creation after the sun rose on Saturday.

The bronze statue has been the target of a series of gags in recent years. It has been bedecked with bras, skirts and witch hats so many times that locals have come to call it "The Cardiff Kook."

"This is the biggest and best so far," retired Navy dentist Bob Olson, 66, told the Los Angeles Times. "I don't know how anyone will outdo this, but I'm sure they'll try."

San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Tony Ray said no criminal report was filed because there was no damage to the statue.

"It wasn't considered vandalism because there wasn't any permanent defacing," Ray told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The $120,000 sculpture called "Magic Carpet Ride" was commissioned by the Cardiff Botanical Society in 2007.

The Associated Press and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

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