New Dalí Museum Opens In Florida

The new $36 million Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla. celebrated its official opening this week with a festive parade and ribbon-cutting, including a lookalike dressed as the iconic Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí.

The 66,450-square-foot museum is home to more of the artist's works than any other museum outside Spain, with eight masterworks, 96 oil paintings and 2,140 Dalí paintings, prints, sculptures and drawings. Dali, who was born and raised in Spain, is best known for his surrealist paintings of melting clocks.

"We overcame the difficulty of the economic times," former St. Petersburg Mayor Bob Ullrich tells
MSNBC. "What you see before you today is the symbol of a resolute will of this community to create world class art museum for a world class art collection."

The museum's most unusual architectural detail is a wave of glass paneling that curls around the building. This feature was designed by architect Yann Weymouth, who also worked on the glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris. AOL Travel named it one of the "Buildings You Have to See Before You Die."

Princess Cristina of Spain, who is the duchess of Palma de Mallorca and the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia, calls the museum a "superb setting, a state-of-the-art building" that evokes the waves, magic and light of Dali's native Mediterranean sea.

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