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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cross at Center of Legal Dispute Disappears

A seven-foot-tall Latin cross in the middle of both the Mojave Desert and a Supreme Court case on the separation of church and state has been stolen, federal officials said Tuesday.

The cross, made of metal tubing reinforced with concrete and bolted to a base on a rock, about 200 miles east of here, was discovered missing Monday.

A large plywood box had covered the top of the cross for several years, making it look like a big wooden lollipop, while a lawsuit over whether a religious symbol could stand on public land made its way through the courts. That box disappeared Saturday, said Linda Slater, a spokeswoman for the Mojave National Preserve, where the cross is, or was, located.

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