Made in China

Thursday 12 Aug 2010

China Merchants Zhangzhou attempt to replicate home town of Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali is one of the most frequently imitated artists in the world, but it seems he has started to inspire more than just surrealist paintings. It has been reported that architects of developers China Merchants Zhangzhou recently took a trip to Cadaqués in Spain – Dali’s home town – to photograph buildings and take measurements in order to replicate the settlement back in China.

The replica town has been planned in a scenic spot in Xiamen Bay, allegedly bearing a stark geographical resemblance to the picturesque Cadaques. Architect Hu Zheng explained to Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia: "We will recreate the essence of the fishing town and will reproduce the most characteristic elements of the architecture in a space which has a similar coastline."

Plans also include a direct imitation of Salvador Dali’s own dwelling – a white-washed abode in neighbouring Portlligat – where he is said to have painted many of his infamous works, including that of his Russian wife Gala looking out to sea. The small fisherman’s cottage is topped with a giant egg sculpture, an element that is sure to feature in the new development.

In 1920 the artist stated: “I have spent a delightful summer, as always, in the perfect and dreamy town of Cadaqués. There, alongside the Latin sea, I have been quenched by light and colour,” and it is clear to see why the area has since become a hotspot for sun-seeking tourists. Quiet coves and crystal clear waters are offset by quaint fishing boats moored across the bay. For the more culturally inspired holidaymaker, there are numerous art galleries in the area – so many in fact that the town now has more art galleries per sq km than anywhere else in the country.

This isn’t the first time that such a feat has been attempted. Some years ago an effort was made to replicate Cadaqués, however as the original town was not consulted about the design, it will not officially recognise the development as a genuine imitation.

It is hoped that this fresh attempt will allow Chinese tourists to enjoy the cultural comforts of Spain without the 6,500 mile long-haul flight, with a maximum capacity of 15,000. A spokesperson recently stated that construction will begin in September or October, however the similarities between Dali’s home town and the replica remain to be seen.

Sian Disson
News Editor

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