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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Salvador Dali's body to be exhumed for paternity test

DNA samples of the world-famous artist's teeth and bones will be examined to prove whether he has a daughter.

Salvador Dali's remains will be exhumed in order to settle a paternity claim made by a 61-year-old woman.
Salvador Dali's remains will be exhumed in order to settle a paternity claim made by a 61-year-old woman.

The remains of Spanish artist Salvador Dali will be exhumed on Thursday evening in order to settle a paternity claim made by a 61-year-old woman.

Pilar Abel, a tarot card reader from Girona, claims she is the only child of Dali, who died in 1989 of heart failure.

Last month a Spanish court ordered the exhumation of the world-famous painter's body in order to take DNA samples from his teeth and bones to determine whether Abel is his daughter.

Dali is buried in his hometown of Figueras, Catalonia in a museum which he designed for himself and which is also accessible to the public.

After the museum has closed its doors to visitors, the crypt in which the artist is resting in will be opened and awnings will be put in place for privacy.

Abel has spent 10 years trying to prove that she was the result of an extra-marital affair between Dali and her mother in the fishing village of Cadaques, where the painter once lived, in 1955.

Dali was married to his Russian muse Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, later known as Gala Dali, from 1934 until her death in 1982. The couple had no children.

If Abel is proven to be Dali's only child, she will inherit a quarter of his estate.

The fortune-teller claims she was told by the woman she formerly believed to be her paternal grandmother that her real father was Dali.

Abel said the woman had told her: “I know you aren’t my son’s daughter and that you are the daughter of a great painter, but I love you all the same.”

The mother-of-four said last week that she longed for the truth about her identity to be known and was not driven by potentially inheriting a large sum of money.

She added: "I am very positive you know what I mean. I think that it has been long enough."

The Salvador Dali foundation, which controls the artist's fortune, had unsuccessfully appealed against the exhumation ruling.

It is expected the results of DNA test will be available within the next two months.