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Salvador Dali's body exhumed for DNA tests to settle a paternity claim


Spain

Salvador Dali's body exhumed for DNA tests to settle a paternity claim

Forensic scientists have exhumed from the embalmed body of Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali to try to settle a paternity claim.

Samples were taken from the artist’s teeth, bones and nails in a four-hour operation, officials said.

Maria Pilar Abel, a tarot card reader who was born in 1956 in the northern Spanish town of Figueras – Dali’s home town and the place he is buried – claims her mother had an affair with the painter and has been trying to prove she is his daughter for years.

If she is proved right, she could assume part of the Dalí‘s estate, currently owned by the Spanish state. Her action is against the Spanish state, to which Dalí left his estate.

Last month a Madrid judge ordered the exhumation to settle the claim but it may take weeks before the results of the DNA tests are known.

Dali died in 1989, aged 84 and his remains are interred in a crypt under the stage of the domed Theatre-Museum in Figueras, which houses some of his art works and paintings he collected.

The exhumation went ahead despite the objections of the local authorities and the foundation carrying Dalí‘s name, both of which claimed that not enough notice had been given ahead of the exhumation.