Replica cross in Mojave Desert will come down

MOJAVE NATIONAL PRESERVE — Authorities say a Mojave Desert cross that replaced the stolen one honoring America's war dead is illegal and must come down.

Linda Slater, a spokeswoman with the Mojave National Preserve, says a maintenance worker spotted the 7½-foot replica cross made of metal pipes Thursday morning in a federal park. Nobody claimed credit for putting it up.

The cross was a half-inch larger than the original cross, which was stolen more than a week ago. That cross was the subject of a lawsuit arguing that the Christian symbol didn't belong on public land.

The U.S. Supreme Court temporarily allowed the old cross to stand but Slater says the new cross isn't covered by the ruling and will be taken down.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.