California Couple Questions Authenticity of Dali Artwork

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Salvador Dali was a 20th century surrealist artist, with a signature black mustache. But now, a Cameron Park couple says the actual signature on their piece of art cannot be authenticated.

Jerry Metz and his wife, Denise, bought the piece, called 'Polymnie', in 2005 for several thousand dollars while on a cruise ship. The hand-colored engraving is supposed to be Dali's muse, from 1971, but is it Dali's work?

"When I read the line that they couldn't authenticate the signature, that was devastating," Metz told FOX40.

Metz was trying to figure out if his piece of art had appreciated in value since buying it almost ten years ago. But the appraiser told him the signature on the work was not recognizable.

FOX40 got in touch with Park West, the gallery that sold the painting on the cruise ship. They said their appraisers are better than Metz's, and they have no doubt the artwork is a real Dali. Park West told Metz he could not return the piece for a refund, but could exchange it for another piece of art from the gallery.

Metz and his wife don't trust the gallery now, and don't want to make an exchange.

Editor's Note:   Park West Galleries, Inc. said it offered to Jerry and Denise Metz "the names of four independent and well known Dali experts to examine the Metz' work." The couple declined the gallery’s offer.  Park West’s attorney told FOX40 in a letter that the expert Mr. Metz consulted, Alex J. Rosenberg of the Dali Research Center, "was not a recognized Dali expert." The statement in our story that Park West told us “their appraisers are better than his” was not intended to be a direct quote, and was never made by the gallery.

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