24th May 2019
Salvador Dalí image
Catalonia News Culture TV/Film

Dalí Foundation in legal dispute over TV show

The Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, which manages the estate of the late Catalan surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, is involved in a legal dispute surrounding the use of Dalí-inspired masks in the Spanish series on Netflix, ‘La Casa de Papel’ (‘Money Heist’).

According to confirmed media reports, the foundation’s lawyers are currently in talks with the Atresmedia production company, which makes the series, to come to an agreement about the use of the painter’s image rights.

The mask resembling Dalí’s distinctive features, including his iconic moustache, has become a popular meme on the internet, but the series makers claim there was no need to ask for permission to use it as they define it as a ‘caricature’.

Salvador Dalí image
A still from the TV show ‘Money Heist’ showing the masks. (Atresmedia / ACN – Catalan News)

Nevertheless, the artist’s foundation believes the use of the mask in the series ‘infringes’ Dalí’s image rights, and the talks aiming to come to an agreement with the production company are part of an effort to ‘regularise’ the use of the image.

The dispute comes a little over a year since the controversial exhumation of Dalí’s remains to settle the paternity suit launched by Pilar Abel, who claimed to be his daughter. However, forensic examination of the remains showed that they were not related.

Meanwhile, 23 January marked the 30th anniversary of the death of the surrealist genius, and the council in his home town of Figueres (located in the north of Catalonia) and the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation together commemorated the date with a floral offering at the artist’s grave, which is in the crypt of the museum dedicated to his memory.

The mayor of Figueres, Jordi Masquef, said during the commemoration that wherever Dalí went he had always been an ‘ambassador’ for the city.

Referring to the imminent refurbishment of the house in which Dalí was born, Masquef said that the artist’s house and the Dalí Theatre-Museum, which is also in Figueres, will together form the ‘spine’ of the institutions remembering the painter’s work and figure.

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