Letter: Spotting the real thing in a surreal world

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Sir: May I add several points to your commendable feature article about the frauds in the Dali print world ('Salvador Dali, one in a million', 19 February)?

The picture you published as an example of an original Dali (The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory) is an image of an original painting (now in the Dali museum in St Petersburg, Florida); however, there also exists a print of that painting which looks exactly like it, since it was made photochemically. The print is a fake.

Readers familiar with Dali's work will recognise that the image which you correctly label as a fake is also a lithographic copy of a painting by Dali (The Persistence of Memory in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City).

Your reporter writes (apropos of the suggestion that Dali was led to sign blank sheets of paper, which were later used to produce fake Dali prints):

Some have hinted darkly that the small coterie gathered around him (Dali) would push hundreds of sheets under his nose for signing.

Who are these 'some'? And what are their motives for this canard? Medical testimony shows that it was physically impossible for Dali to sign any prints at all (from the time he became ill). Not a single piece of paper was ever pushed under his nose for signing.

Finally, please allow me to correct your description of me. I am not 'an' archivist; I am the archivist appointed by Dali for the Salvador Dali Archives.

Yours sincerely,

ALBERT FIELD

Archivist

The Salvador Dali Archives

Astoria, New York

16 March

(Graphic omitted)

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