$3.6M Dali sculpture coming to Little Burgundy park
4-tonne surrealist elephant will adorn Parc des Meubliers starting in November
A big bronze pachyderm topped with a golden pyramid will soon travel from Quebec City to Montreal where it will take up residence in Little Burgundy for the next two years.
"The obelisk leads the elephant towards space and the legs are stretching to defy weightlessness," said Sylvain Fortier, president of Galérie Griffintown, a commercial gallery in Montreal's Southwest borough.
"This elephant has bat ears, the tail of a pig and the beard of a goat," Fortier said.
Space Elephant is a work made by legendary Spanish artist Salvador Dali, best known for his paintings of melting clocks and his iconic moustache.
Dali made the seven-metre sculpture in 1980, when he was in his 70s. It's an edition of eight, which means there are seven other copies in existence.
This one is owned by a Swiss collector who has consigned it to Fortier with the goal of selling it. The asking price: $3.6 million.
The dealer worked out an agreement with the borough to put the elephant in Parc des Meubliers at no cost to the city.
"It doesn't cost us money," said Southwest borough mayor Benoit Dorais, who called the elephant a "masterpiece."
"All the costs are for Mr. Fortier, so it's a win-win situation."
It's not the first time the elephant has packed its trunk and hit the road — the bronze beast has stood in front of the Château Frontenac in Quebec City since May.
It will remain parked at Parc des Meubliers until 2019, even through the winter — unless it's sold.
"If we sell it and the client wants it soon, we'll just make sure we can replace it with another monumental sculpture by Dali," Fortier said.
Salvador Dali was one of the most famous artists of the 20th century. A publicity-seeker and iconoclast, he once famously quipped, "I don't do drugs. I am drugs."