St. Pete unveils its 'world-class' gem, celebrates artist's birthplace as sister city
Thursday, January 13, 2011
St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (January 13, 2011) - On a cool morning punctuated by St. Pete's trademark sunshine and electric blue skies, in true DaliÂ fashion---at 11:11 a.m. on 1-11-11---the St. Pete/Clearwater area officially welcomed its newest cultural icon this week.
The sparkling new DaliÂ Museum, a 66,450-square-foot facility that is as visually iconic as the art that adorns its galleries, opened to the public Tuesday following a 14-year journey that ended with a surreal procession and a remarkably grand opening ceremony that included Spanish Royalty, stilt walkers and more than a few of the Spanish Surrealist's trademark moustaches.
In front of a large media contingent and a crowd of around 2,000 spectators, S.A.R. la Infanta Cristina of Spain, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca---the youngest daughter of the King and Queen---presided over the ceremony and ribbon cutting, ushering in a new era for the world-class museum in downtown St. Pete. For video highlights of the opening ceremony, click here.
Located on the Sunshine City's palm-dappled bayfront, the new DaliÂ was designed by world-renowned architect Yann Weymouth, who previously assisted with the renovation of the Louvre in Paris.
"There's nothing like this new museum anywhere in the world," Weymouth said during Tuesday's ceremony.
The building's striking design features a geodesic glass structure enclosing the foyer, a grand spiral staircase in the building's center and an outlook to the east with magnificent views of yachts moored in Florida's largest municipal marina.
But it didn't take the world until opening day to recognize the magnitude of what was coming out of the ground in St Pete: seven months before the doors opened, the structure was named one of only ten venues in the world to be included in Aol Travel's compilation of 'Buildings You Have to See Before You Die.'
The new Dali is more than twice the size of the former museum and contains 50 percent more gallery space, which will be used to display both temporary exhibitions and its permanent collection of 96 oil paintings (including the 8 masterworks), 125 drawings and watercolors, 2,500 prints and photographs, 250 objets d'art, and a 5,000 book library.
Officials from the other DaliÂ Museum---the one in his birthplace of Figueres, Spain---were on hand for the opening as well, and later met with local officials to formalize a sister-city partnership that will cross-promote the museums at both locations.
"This partnership will be a boon for tourism to St Pete/Clearwater," said DT Minich, Executive Director of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. "The DaliÂ Museum in Figueres receives about 1.3 million visitors a year, so to have the ability to promote our destination to that many Dali fans in Spain is priceless," he added.
The museum's hours will be 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday; and Noon to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $21 for adults, $19 for seniors, $15 for students 18+ with identification and children ages 13-17, $7 for children 6-12 and free for ages 5 and under.
For more on the new museum and an interactive tour, visit http://www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/new-dali.
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is the destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, Florida.
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For more information: VisitStPeteClearwater.com
Contact: Public Relations Manager Josh Hall: Josh@VisitSPC.com
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