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Last Updated:  Thursday, 20 February, 2003, 12:43 GMT
Sprinkler floods surreal show
Salvador Dali
Dali is considered one of the 20th Century's most important artists
Damage costing thousands of pounds is thought to have been caused to a surrealist exhibition when builders accidentally set off the sprinkler system.

Bemused half term visitors joked "Is it part of the artwork?" as water seeped through the ceiling onto the Salvador Dali exhibition at County Hall, central London.

Loss adjusters were due to inspect exhibits as the show reopened following the flood on Wednesday.

The Spanish artist's Vision of an Angel sculpture and other bronze works were drenched and some lithographs were damaged as water seeped in.

I think Dali would have approved. He would have loved the anarchy and chaos
Business manager Antonia Spanos
Business manager Antonia Spanos said the sprinkler system had been accidentally set off during building work on a new Saatchi gallery.

She said: "It was really quite a lot of water but the damage is not too bad.

"The cost of damage could be thousands of pounds but we do not know exactly how much. The real damage was having to close for half a day.

"All the customers had a good laugh, they thought it was very surreal. Some asked: "Is it part of the artwork?"

"I think Dali would have approved. Everything he did was designed to shock and grab attention. He would have loved the anarchy and chaos."

The exhibition has attracted 600,000 visitors since it opened in the former Greater London Council building in June 2000.


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