Leonard Knight, artist at Salvation Mountain, dies

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Folk artist Leonard Knight has died.

Knight spent three decades painting colorful religious messages on a mound of adobe in the Southern California desert he called Salvation Mountain.

The Los Angeles Times reports Knight died Monday at a convalescent hospital in eastern San Diego County where he had lived for two years. He was 82 and had suffered from diabetes.

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Arriving in California in the early 1980s, the Vermont native began work on his life's project atop a terraced hill in the Imperial Valley near the Salton Sea. Salvation Mountain is now about three stories tall and 100 feet long, emblazoned with "god is love" and topped with a cross.

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The land is owned by the state. Knight's devoted followers are hoping to preserve the art installation as a historic site.


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