Dali debacle

June 3 2011

Image of Dali debacle

Picture: The Guardian

The Guardian has an interesting story about 'Dali sculptures'. The official Dali foundation says that bronzes being sold for more than £1m as 'by Dali' are in fact nothing to do with him.

The seller is the Italian dealer Beniamino Levi and his Stratton Foundation, 'dedicated to promotion of culture and the arts'. Levi says he bought the rights to produce sculptures from drawings and paintings by Dali in the 1980s from Dali's business manager, Enrique Sabater. So although the sculptures, such as the above Alice in Wonderland, are based on ideas in Dali's work, they are not actually by him, and are invariably cast long after his death. 

Of course, with scultpure, the lines of authenticity are more easily blurred than with paintings and drawings. The casting process effectively allows unlimited 'originals' to be made. But looking at the various websites that purport to sell Dali sculptures, there is something faintly disingenuous about the whole process. Take for example the video of Pope John Paul II being presented with what Levi describes as 'the Dali sculpture Saint George and the Dragon made by the Stratton Foundation' in 1995. One presumes the Pope thought the sculpture was actually made by Dali - but it isn't.

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