The eminent Spanish surrealist painter, Salvador Dali, was installed as a member of the French Academy of Fine Arts in Paris on Wednesday (May 9).
GV L'Academic des Beaux-Arts in Paris
SV INTERIOR Salvador Dali carrying statuette of golden eagle surrounded by newsmen as he enters chamber
SV Dali receives applause as he walks to his seat
GV Guests and members of Academy seated in hall
LV AND CU Salvador Dali addressing Academy (2 shots)
LV Salvador Dali surrounded by crowd as he leaves Academy
SV Dali carrying statuette starts singing as he walks across courtyard
SV Dali being escorted out of courtyard
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Background: The eminent Spanish surrealist painter, Salvador Dali, was installed as a member of the French Academy of Fine Arts in Paris on Wednesday (May 9). As usual Mr. Dali's somewhat eccentric personality and behaviour dominated the proceedings, and the normally staid and serious ceremony took on an appropriately surreal atmosphere.
Mr. Dali's reaction to the news that he was to be honoured by the French Academy was to describe himself as the "inconsequential nothing which the institute needed in order to have something of the divine." It was a suitably mystifying and subtly arrogant phrase, from a painter whose outrageous character has almost eclipsed the importance of his work. He has not only created a surreal world on canvas - but has also built himself a persona for the public which rivals his most bizarre artistic creations.
His speech to the members of the Academy was not orthodox in content or style. After staggering the Academy members with a description of his latest invention, a pair of three-dimensional spectacles and dazzling them with a stream of exotic images, Mr. Dali ended his speech praising the railway station of Perpignan. As he left the Academy, Mr. Dali expressed his delight with the occasion by bursting into song.
In December a collection of Dali's works will go show in Paris' Pompidou Arts Centre, which Mr Dali has characteristically described as an anti-Pompidou exhibition.