Salvador Dali: DNA test proves woman is not artist’s daughter

Salvador Dali: DNA test proves woman is not artist’s daughter
By Selina Sykes
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A Spanish woman who believed she was the daughter of Salvador Dali has lost her decade-long battle to prove she is the Spanish surrealist’s only child and heir.


A woman who claimed to be the only child of Salvador Dali is not the Spanish artist’s daughter, a DNA test has proved.

Maria Pilar Abel, a tarot card reader who was born in 1956, says her mother had an affair with the eccentric artist during the year before her birth.

After a 10-year campaign by Ms Abel, a court in Madrid ordered Dali’s body to be exhumed after previous attempts to prove paternity had failed.

Had the pair been related, Ms Abel would have had a claim on part of Dali’s estate, which he left to the Spanish state following his death in 1989 at the age of 85.

Forensic scientists exhumed Dali’s embalmed body in June, taking samples from his teeth, bones and nails.

The Dali Foundation, which controls the artist’s estate, said the tests carried out have conclusively proved the two are not related.

The foundation said: “This conclusion comes as no surprise to the foundation, since at no time has there been any evidence of the veracity of an alleged paternity.

“The foundation is pleased that this report puts an end to an absurd and artificial controversy, and that the figure of Salvador Dalí remains definitively excluded from totally groundless claims.”

Ms Abel, who was told from an early age she was Dali’s daughter, told Spanish newspaper El País that neither she nor her lawyers had yet received the results of the tests.

The 61-year-old said: “Until I’ve got official word, they can say what they like.

“I’m not hiding away and no matter what the result is, positive, negative or invalid, I’ll give a press conference to all the media to explain the result.”

Ms Abel has previously claimed the resemblance between her and the artist was uncanny, saying “the only thing I’m missing is a moustache”.

Ten years ago Ms Abel was granted permission to extract DNA from skin, hair and hair traces found clinging to Dali’s death mask, but the results were inconclusive.

Dali’s remains are interred in a crypt under the museum he designed for himself in his home town of Figueres.

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