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Palabras de Su Alteza Real la Infanta Doña Cristina en la ceremonia inaugural del nuevo Museo Salvador Dalí

Florida, EE.UU.(St. Petersburg), 11.01.2011

Thank you very much for inviting me to this opening ceremony at the new Salvador Dalí Museum in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg that we are so delighted visiting and enjoying for the first time since yesterday evening.

Believe me, it is a real pleasure and a privilege to address you all on this very important ceremony. The art collection which Mr. and Mrs. Morse assembled through years of dedicated and passionate collecting has become one of the paramount collections of Dalinian works in the world.

When they acquired their first work by Salvador Dalí, they could have not imagined that decades later we would be honoring them, their friend Salvador Dalí and the art they felt so passionate about.

Today the collection has moved into a new home built specifically for this collection and inspired by the artist's life and works.

A handsome, audacious building which evokes the waves of the Mediterranean sea and the rolling plains of the Empordá, the very beautiful Catalan land in Northeastern Spain with a magic light, full of legends and mysteries..., the place where Dali was born and grew up, where Dali's genius coalesced and came into being. The place that Reynolds and Eleanor Morse loved and to which they returned year after year.

This new Museum offers an unparalleled setting for Americans to better understand the intimate link of Dalí's Art with Spain, showing not only how the land, the light and the sea are a constant reference in Dalí's paintings, but also how the wealth and depth of our culture permeate Dali's legacy.

In doing so, "The Dalí" will help to strengthen the enduring connection between our two countries, which started seven miles from here almost five centuries ago.

"The Dalí" brings the Future forward, enabling new generations to discover Dalí's gift of imagination to the world, in a superb setting, a "state-of-the-art" home for one of the creative geniuses of the 20th century.

The new building provides renewed opportunities for education and discovery by young and old..., countless hours of enjoyment and personal growth for residents and visitors alike, as well as academic research opportunities. The Dalí collection is now perfectly housed and protected by the most advanced security technologies and building design.

The abundant academic, artistic and legal world during the last decade has stressed Salvador Dali´s rightful place in 20th Century art

These are all exciting prospects for this new Museum that will more than justify the huge effort put into its creation.

The city of St. Petersburg gains a landmark and an outstanding beacon of cultural activity, a museum of international prestige. It will significantly project the visibility of the city and the surrounding region to the world, and bring the world to St. Petersburg.

We should not forget that a cultural heritage well managed is, without a doubt, a powerful wealth generating asset. Very few cities have the privilege of nurturing a world class cultural asset of "The Dalí's" caliber. It is the community's responsibility to find ways to profit from this remarkable museum while at the same time respecting and strengthening it.

I encourage the city of St Petersburg and the surrounding region, together with all its citizens, to work with the Salvador Dalí Museum to achieve sustainable cooperation programs and thus ensure fruitful and enduring results for all. We owe this to future generations.

The abundant academic, artistic and legal work carried out in Spain, the United States and all around the world during the last decade has stressed Salvador Dalí's rightful place in 20th century art.

In this context, the Salvador Dalí Museum has gone well beyond its initial activity of protecting and managing a superb collection of works of art. Its academic and artistic endeavors have afforded it a recognizable and respected place among the world's specialized institutions of modern art.

The importance of this opening today is twofold: we are not only celebrating a new home for the collection, but more importantly, we are celebrating the strengthening of the Salvador Dalí Museum as a steadfast pillar of Dalí's universal legacy.

As a member of the board of trustees of the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, I am fully aware of the efforts and challenges of protecting and promoting Dalí's legacy.

Salvador Dalí, our founder, defined our institutional mission in clear terms: to defend, protect, promote and disseminate his legacy around the world.

The Salvador Dalí Museum has stood by us and has proven itself a worthy ally in numerous difficult situations. I am pleased to see that an ever closer friendship has developed between our two institutions, a friendship that is sure to grow as the Salvador Dalí Museum opens a new and exciting chapter in its history with this extraordinary new building.

Let me finish by expressing my warmest congratulations and very best wishes to all those who have made possible this wonderful achievement.

Thank you very much.

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