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Gnomes on PG&E poles in Oakland to stay for now

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Pacific Gas and Electric Co. plans to find new homes for thousands of paintings of gnomes that have popped up on its utility poles in Oakland, becoming a community sensation.

PG&E spokesman Jason King said he planned to meet with the artist and a member of the City Council on Tuesday. The artist has requested anonymity.

The plan is to keep the paintings in place until a permanent home can be found.

The hand-painted portraits on 6-inch blocks of wood began going up last year. There are currently more than 2,000 of them on utility poles, many of them screwed to the bases.

Word that PG&E planned to remove them sparked an outpouring of support from local residents, who say they are quirky and add character to the city.