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Life, art, and paintings of the most brilliant surrealist artist Also visit:   Reviews of world news about Salvador Dalí

V 4.4: july-25-2004.


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New Museum St Petersburg Florida

    Many cultural institutions around the world celebrate Dali’s 100th anniversary this year. The Museum Dali authorities in St Petersburg, Florida have used this historic occasion to ask the City Council to give them a new home for the Museum Dali on St. Petersburg's waterfront. They plan to move it into the site now occupied by The Times Arena at Bayfront Center. The arena is scheduled for demolition in early 2005. Tom James, president of the museum’s board of directors said that “out of all the sites we have considered, this one fits our needs best”.

 The need for the move comes from the Dali Museum’s location where it is at constant risk of wind damages, hurricanes, as well as projectiles and large yachts that could be thrown through the building. The museum’s collection is valued at more than $500-million, and the threat of a storm would close the building for three days as workers place paintings in a secure vault.

 In order to make the move of the museum possible, a two referendum question will be required because the proposal involves the public waterfront. One will allow the city to transfer the existing ground lease to the University of South Florida St Petersburg and the other one to approve a lease on the Bayfront land for the new museum. The council would have to approve them for the Nov. 9 ballot. In addition to voter approval, the deal needs about $6-million in state funding so the state can buy the current Dali site from the city. Lawmakers plan to ask for the money during the 2005 legislative session.

 Even though the Dali Museum attracts 200,000 visitors yearly and contributes substantially with the economy of the State of Florida; it is difficult for some tourists to find it. A site closer to downtown could attract more visitors and encourage people to visit other local museums, as well as restaurants and shops. The three-story museum would be 20,000 square feet larger than the current museum and would include space for classrooms and a research library.

 Today, alongside Dali’s own museum in Spain, the St. Petersburg collection is the most comprehensive collection of original Dali artwork in the world. The collection includes 95 oil paintings, over 100 watercolors and drawings, 1,300 graphics, photographs, sculptures, objects d'art and an extensive archival library.



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