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Aide who tampered with Dali's work dies

Associated Press
Published December 29, 2005

MADRID - John Peter Moore, a close Salvador Dali aide convicted of tampering with one of the surrealist master's paintings, has died, according to media reports and funeral officials. He was 86.

Mr. Moore died Monday (Dec. 26, 2005) in Port Lligat, a Mediterranean town where he ran an art gallery yards away from Dali's main studio, according to the Spanish news agency EFE and the respected daily El Pais. The Empordanesa funeral agency in the nearby city of Figueres told the Associated Press that Mr. Moore's body had been brought to the funeral home. No cause of death was reported.

Known as Capt. Moore because of his World War II service in Britain's Royal Navy, Mr. Moore accompanied Dali on many of his world tours during his 20 years as personal assistant.

As Dali became ill and bedridden, Mr. Moore's influence over the artist's activities increased. His connection to the painter led to scandal.

In October 2004, Mr. Moore and his wife, Catherine Perrot, were convicted of tampering with Dali's 1969 painting The Double Image of Gala. The painting was stolen in 1974 and found in Mr. Moore's Perrot-Moore Art Center in 1999.

A subsequent search of Mr. Moore's home and workshops revealed 10,000 allegedly faked Dali lithographs. Mr. Moore, who was accused of reducing the size of the 1969 canvas, denied tampering with or forging any of Dali's work.

Mr. Moore and his wife were ordered to pay an estimated $1.2-million in compensation to the Dali-Gala Foundation, which looks after the painter's heritage. They were also ordered to pay for the restoration costs of the painting.

A Spanish court did not rule on other accusations against Mr. Moore, including dealing in stolen art, because of his age and the dementia he was thought to be suffering.

Mr. Moore was also an expert on the artist's work, putting together important collections of Dali's paintings. Dali died in 1989 of heart failure.

Mr. Moore is survived by his wife.

The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg has the largest collection of the artist's work outside Spain.

[Last modified December 29, 2005, 00:52:13]

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