The day began at the site of the future $35 million Salvador Museum, as the construction half-way point was commemorated with the dedication of the building’s cornerstone. Now, this wasn’t just any old boulder from down the street… it was a gift from Dali’s home town of Cadaques, Spain.
Museum director Hank Hine masterfully conducted the ceremony mixing in some Castilian Spanish with his insights, accolades and introductions. Joining Hank at the podium were our own St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, Cadaques Mayor, Joan Borrell and Maria del Valle, the director of the Centro Cultural Espanol in Miami.
“Cadeques wanted to recognize Dali as their favorite son, and they wanted to give us this rock to symbolize his personality, his imagination,” said Hank Hine. Much of Dali’s imagery was inspired by the landscape of the area, particularly the wind-swept rocks. Hine went on to say that the rock “looks as though it came right out of a Dali painting.”
Dali wrote, Cap de Creus…the epic spot where the mountains of the Pyrenees come down to the sea, in a grandiose geological delirium, there, no more olive trees or vines. Only the elementary and planetary violence of the most diverse and paradoxically assembled rocks…these rocks which were so greatly to influence me.
We were at once directed to look to the sky where a crane began lowering the rock from the roof of the unfinished building, gingerly placing it on the ground where the two Mayors lifted the tarp and presented the new building’s cornerstone.
LATER that afternoon, Dali Trustees and Donors, 3 St Petersburg Mayors, VIPs and JMC Communities’ team members gathered at the new Ovation condominium’s club room for a reception honoring Cadaques Mayor Borrell. Classical Spanish music filled the air as 150+ guests enjoyed delicacies provided by Olympia Catering, and marveled at Ovation’s quality and beauty while overlooking the swimming pool gardens and St Petersburg’s waterfront.
As the evening progressed, some guests wandered outside to admire the pool’s “water curtain” and the evening sky. Others, went to the 18th floor where they stepped out of the elevator directly into a magnificently designed and decorated 3,660 square foot model home.
After a late dinner, Mayor Borrell returned to Ovation where he and his entourage had been staying (Betsy Godfrey’s designer model) during their visit to St Petersburg.
It was a perfect day… all in all, Surreally Nice!!