'The Mona Lisard,' an 80-foot-tall hanging artwork of a lizard in downtown Tampa was removed

Franklin Exchange has been its home since 2006

TAMPA, Fla. - The rumpled heap of fabric is all that's left after seven years.

"The pile of fabric was The Mona Lisard," said Shaun Drinkard of the Tampa Downtown Partnership.

The Mona Lisard, as it was called, had kept a watchful eye over the Tampa skyline since 2006. Now, all that remains is the 40 by 80 foot empty space the lizard used to call home.

"It's kind of sad.  Because it was there for a long time and now it's gone," recalled Sanda Worsham, who works in the building where the lizard used to hang.

The west side on the 22-story Franklin Exchange building has been the focus of many conversations over the past few years.

"Like a lot of public art, it's very intriguing, it's fun, it's iconic and people began to identify that with downtown Tampa," Drinkard said.

This morning, it didn't take a crew very long to remove the lizard; which had begun to fade. The building's owners, The Wilson Company, plan to patch and repaint the property.

"It was time.  But it's sad too because you know, he was an old friend -- or SHE was an old friend," explained Carolyn Wilson, President of The Wilson Company.

"Where'd the lizard go? I just noticed that," said a woman as she walked past.

"They took the lizard down!" remarked a man she was walking with.

"Aww, that's horrible.  It was ugly anyway," the woman responded.

The man just shrugged, looked up and said, "I liked it."

Opinions by the downtown lunch crowd on The Mona Lizard are mixed, to say the least.

"I think it gives Tampa character," said Rachel Jacobs.

Nicole Abbett of Tampa was more direct. "Farewell lizard; you will not be missed," she said.

"Wow. I mean, it looks a lot more bland than it used to.  It was a pretty cool picture.  But, yeah, I didn't even realize it was gone," explained Brett Edmark as he strolled past.

Kree Morales has worked downtown for twenty years and said, "I kind of felt like it was out of place because I never really knew why it was there."

The Wilson Company says it will replace the lizard with a new piece of art that is yet to be determined.

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