Dali's Square
Dali's Square
Dali's Square
On the 17th July 1986, Madrid was honoured to unveil the last great work of Salvador Dalí. This was made possible by an agreement between the mayor of Spain’s capital, Mr. Enrique Tierno Galván and the genius from Ampurdan(Catalonia), signed on the 12th November 1985, by which Madrid promised to dedicate a square to the artist so that he could design a monument complex, called ‘El Dolmen de Dalí’.

This monument complex constitutes:
-the megalithic dolmen
-a statue of a human figure
-a cubic pedestal bearing the statue, each side engraved with the letters of the word ‘GALA’
-a crossroad denominated Plaza de Dalí (Dalí Square)
-Flagstone pavement in the square on which these elements will stand on a pattern of straight lines and curves of different colours and textures, as designed by the artist.
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The delicate state of the artist’s health prevented him from physically doing the sketches. However, his mind was lucid and his state of mind was ready to convey his ideas and correct the sketches presented by his collaborators. This is proved by all the relevant existing documentation. Furthermore, Dalí’s complete authorship is recorded in the third condition of the agreement, with which the artist safeguards his right to create, monitor the work and, as it says textually:

THIRD CONDITION

On the basis of the previous outline, design layouts will be made by the people of Madrid, which will then be put forward for the approval of Mr. Salvador Dalí or by the afore-mentioned committee. Mr. Salvador Dalí will give his written approval to the presented sketches in three copies. One of which will be given to the people of Madrid, one to the archives of Mr. Salvador Dalí and the other to the ARARTE association.

The result is surprising and marvellous. Dalí expressed in his last piece of work his transcendental conviction and he surprised us with a great map of the cosmic, solar and human evolution. From the nebulous ethers, represented by the virgin stone which crowns the dolmen, to the stages of terrestrial evolution, beginning with the mineral cube and ending with the highly evolved human. This is all in the cosmic map, where the force lines, spheres of influence and the orbit systems are faithfully represented by patterns in the flagstone which clearly indicate the place of man’s evolution within the constantly changing universe.
To the present date, we can see that the roadwork in Dalí’s square has already erased an important part of the flagstone and the local government’s project to improve the Dalí’s square and the surrounding area foresees an irreversible mutilation of the work.

We say ‘irreversible mutilation’ because apart from modifying the monument complex, eliminating the flagstone and adding elements foreign to the original concept (garden areas for artificial woods, children’s play areas, parks, fountains and other statues) which change the spaces, volumes and perspectives, the level of protection of the work, achieved due to public protest, is minimal and there is the possibility of its complete disassembly, allowing the components to be relocated without any kind of control.

Under what grounds does Madrid justify such an atrocity?

It says that the design of the floor is not Dalí’s, simply because it is not explicitly detailed in the 1985 agreement. This is absurd! We are changing the scenery of every painting! We are erasing the background of every fresco! We are moving every monument from its place! We are taking the Eiffel Tower to the Alps or we are pushing ‘Las Hilanderas’ of Velazquez’s famous painting to work under fluorescent lighting.
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Two days after its inauguration, Dalí was still demanding that some things should be touched up and in the first sketch the flagstone was already present. Whoever has led an artistic project knows that there are variations in the creative process and that each moment has its concretion level.

We are faced with one of the greatest mistakes that a political party can make. We are talking about a political party because, against all expectations, no-one has corrected the present mayor of Madrid; neither the local autonomous government of Madrid nor the Ministry of Culture of the Spanish Government

All these institutions belong to the same political party, therefore, one may presume that there is an ideological and political undercurrent in this dreadfully serious artistic assassination, in which:

- The cultural and artistic patrimony is being afflicted by carelessly exploiting a masterpiece by a universal artist.
- The memory of the mayor who brought about the project, Mr. Enrique Tierno Galván, a man of great culture and honour, is being insulted.
- The agreements signed by the local government are not being respected.
- The local government protocols for ordering and modifying urban territory are being compromised.
- They are putting themselves to shame in the Centenary of Salvador Dalí, whose transcendental ideas couldn’t bear dominant reactionary ideology.
- The citizens’ intelligence is being insulted by the endless declarations in the media which are contradicted by reality.
Facing this situation, which threatens to damage severely the Artistic Historic Patrimony of Humanity and to compromise intolerably the freedom of thought, artistic creation and political ethics, we demand the complete halting of the project in process, the declaration of the Monument complex of ‘El dolmen de Dalí’ in its entirety as being of cultural interest and the immediate resignation of those politically and culturally responsible for this barbaric attack.

We call to all the citizens who love art and culture to rise up and support this citizens’ initiative.
 
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