22 Jun, 2011 @ 12:46
1 min read

Surreal deal

By James Bryce

HE was well known for his attention-grabbing behaviour and flamboyant handlebar moustache.

Now, 22 years after his death, Salvador Dali continues to make headlines.

The Salvador Dali foundation has hit out at the lucrative use of the Spanish surrealist’s name, which actually have no connection to him.

The trade, known in the industry as ‘Almost Dali’, is worth an estimated 65 million euros a year and creates sculptures (see right) based on images from certain Dali drawings.

None of the sculptures come from a model produced by Dali’s own hand and the foundation claims many of them are simply not works of art.

The bronze sculptures, some priced at a huge 1.1 million euros, are often produced in editions of more than 1,000 at a time, year’s after the painters death.

“We are concerned about using the name inappropriately,” Dali Foundation head, Joan Manuel Sevillano explained.

“We are not talking about pieces which are classified as works of art. These are commercial sculptures, made for decorative purposes.”

But the main dealer in the trade, millionaire Italian art dealer Beniamino Levi, insists he is doing nothing wrong.

He insists he bought the rights in the 1980s from Dali’s secretary and business manager, Enrique Sabater.“The foundation is just very jealous of my success,”  Levi said.


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