Glasgow's Salvador Dali painting set to be loaned to Vatican

The artwork, usually found in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, could be displayed in Rome next year.

Glasgow’s Salvador Dali painting set to be loaned to Vatican STV News

Glasgow’s famous Salvador Dali painting ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’ is set to be loaned to the Vatican.

The artwork, usually found in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, could be displayed in Rome this year if councillors back the plan.

It follows a request from the Vatican Dicastery for Evangelization — which is overseen by Pope Francis — to borrow the painting and show it at the Church of San Marcello al Corso.

A report from Bailie Annette Christie, SNP, chair of Glasgow Life, which manages the painting, will go before councillors on Thursday, which asks for the loan to be approved.

It states: “In addition to raising the profile of the city of Glasgow to new audiences, there are very good curatorial reasons to endorse and support this request.

“The painting will be displayed alongside the original drawing by St John of the Cross, and Dali’s The Assumpta Corpuscolaria Lapislazulina (1952).

“Although both paintings by Dali have been seen together before, this presents an important opportunity to see both works, designed as part of a close series, together in an ecclesiastical context and, uniquely, with the original drawing by St John.

“Collectively these three artworks provide the context for an analysis of the dialogues, reading and experiences which led Dali to propose his interpretation of the Christian faith’s central event as rendered in Glasgow’s Dali.”

Reportedly valued at more than £60m, Dali’s painting was purchased by Glasgow Corporation in 1952 for £8,200.

It would be shown between May 13 and June 23 this year as part of a series of arts events leading up to the Jubilee year in 2025 — a holy year in the Catholic Church.

The artwork has been on loan to the Dali Theatre and Museum in his hometown of Figueres in Catalonia, Spain. The artist designed the museum, and is buried in a crypt there.

Councillors are set to approve the loan in principle pending confirmation that the Vatican Dicastery of Evangelization can meet the terms and conditions.

It would not be released until all insurance certificates have been agreed and received by Glasgow Life, which would also assess the venue to ensure “all requirements for the protection of the artworks can be delivered.

The painting, which has been assessed as fit to travel, has been fitted with laminated low reflective glass to provide extra protection while on display.

Glasgow Life said the painting will return from Spain this month before being loaned out to the Vatican in May and June of this year. It will return to Kelvingrove and go back on display in July this year.

A spokesperson for Glasgow Life said: “Glasgow’s museums and galleries are home to collections of international significance and vibrancy. Loans of objects are important as they help to highlight our global reputation as a culturally rich city.”

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