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Press Release - November 9, 2020

Auction of Salvador Dalí’s Western Wall Masterpiece to Benefit FWH UNESCO

Signed and dated Le Mur des Lamentations could fetch as much as $800,000

 Salvador Dalí's 1975 painting of the Western Wall at Heritage Auctions
DALLAS, Texas (November 9, 2020) — Salvador Dalí's 1975 painting of the Western Wall in Jerusalem will find a new home when it crosses the block in Heritage Auctions' Modern & Contemporary Art Auction Nov. 19.

Dalí's Le Mur des Lamentations (estimate: $400,000-800,000) reflects the legendary Spanish artist's keen interest in people's different religious faiths. This work is completely fresh to the market, being offered for the very first time at auction, and having been in private collection since it was painted by Dali in April of 1975.

Part of the proceeds of this picture by Dalí will be given to the Football World Heritage of UNESCO, represented by Ambassador H.H. Princess Rani Vanouska Modely.

"I'm so glad to be able to participate in the efforts of FWH UNESCO in collaboration with Heritage Auctions, to declare football as a world heritage of humanity for peace," HH Princess Rani Vanouska T.Modely said. "This work by Salvador Dali perfectly fits the UNESCO values as the famous master was very keen on Football, art and diplomacy."

This work is accompanied by a video of Dali signing the painting at the Meurice Hotel in Paris in 1975 as part of a live TV interview.

Dali famously said, "O you, people of Israel, chosen people, sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For your devotion to upholding traditions, for the joy with which you celebrate and sanctify your festivities, I created this 'Peace Menorah' and this painting of the 'Western Wall.' While with your unshakeable faith you pray for the glory of your ancestors and for the triumph of truth, I want you to see in the radiation of these bright and cheerful lights, a tribute to your people." These words are also inscribed on the bronze Menorah sculpture on display at Ben Gurion airport in Lod, Israel.

"There is no other artist of international reputation who, not being Jewish, expressed so strongly about the Jewish people and their history through their visionary art!" said Former President of Israel, Moshe Katsav.

According to Prof. David Blumenthal, retired Jay and Leslie Cohen Professor of Judaic Studies at Emory University, the significance of the Western Wall can not be overstated.

"The Western Wall is all that is left of the temple that Herod built. It was destroyed by the Romans. It was viewed as a center of worship that contained the presence of God," Blumenthal said. "Worship depended on the temple; synagogues only replaced it. The Romans did a thorough job – they burned the temple, and pushed the stones off the edges to make sure nobody tried to rebuild it. From the Jews' perspective, it was horrible, because the temple was as close as you could get to God's presence, in the Jewish tradition. It's why people take a prayer on a tiny slip of paper and slide it into the cracks between the stones even today; it is why the Wall is a major pilgrimage spot."

"Dalí was an intriguing figure because he was fascinated by religious ideas and subject matter," Heritage Auctions Vice President of Modern & Contemporary Art Leon Benrimon said. "He famously did so many different series on different religious ideas, but what makes this piece really special is that it is the only rendition that I know of that he did of an actual holy site. It's a wonderful tie-in of the Western Wall, where all three monotheistic religions congregate." Dali included the Hebrew words "Baruch HaShem," diretly onto the Western Wall stones, which can be translate to 'The Blessed Name,' or 'God Willing.'

A leading proponent of Surrealism, Dalí is revered for his creative perspective in compositions like The Persistence of Memory, which is known for its melting clocks. He was world-renowned thanks to pioneering art and techniques in painting, film, sculpture, photography, and other forms of visual art. In addition to these pursuits, Dali was also an extremely prolific writer, routinely penning fiction, poetry, essays, and criticism for major magazines and journals. This lot is accompanied by a photocopy of a certificate of authenticity, dated November 12, 2007, from Robert and Nicolas Descharnes, who are widely recognized as experts on the artist's life and often are consulted by museums, collectors and auction houses in reference to Dalí.

This lot is accompanied by a photocopy of a certificate of authenticity, dated November 12, 2007, from Robert and Nicolas Descharnes, who are widely recognized as experts on the artist's life and often are consulted by museums, collectors and auction houses in reference to Dalí.

Together, Her Highness Princess Rani Vanouska Modely with the Monegasque Peace and Sport foundation, under the patronage of His Serene Hignesss Prince Albert II of Monaco, Football World Heritage of UNESCO brings together a global community through Heads of State, Royal family members, World institutions, FIFA as well as iconic sport, political, economic and cultural personalities calling on UNESCO to declare football as a world heritage of humanity for Peace. Through this approach this organization's goal is to finance actions in line with UNESCO values: Education, Science and Culture.

For images and estimates of all of the lots in the auction, visit HA.com/8019.

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

Heritage also enjoys the highest Online traffic and dollar volume of any auction house on earth (source: SimilarWeb and Hiscox Report). The Internet's most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has more than 1,250,000 registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of five million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.


Steve Lansdale, Public Relations Specialist
214-409-1699; SteveL@HA.com

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