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Salvador Dalí's corpse to be exhumed for paternity test

By Andrew V. Pestano
The body of Salvador Dalí will be exhumed and a sample will be taken for DNA testing following a lawsuit by a woman who says she is the famous painter's daughter. Photo courtesy of Gala Dalí Foundation
The body of Salvador Dalí will be exhumed and a sample will be taken for DNA testing following a lawsuit by a woman who says she is the famous painter's daughter. Photo courtesy of Gala Dalí Foundation

June 26 (UPI) -- A judge in Madrid ordered Salvador Dalí's corpse to be exhumed for a paternity test after a woman who says she is the painter's daughter filed a lawsuit.

Pilar Abel, a 69-year-old astrologer and tarot card reader from Spain, said her mother -- a maid -- and Dalí had an affair in 1955, which gave way to her birth in 1956. In 1989, Dalí died in Spain at the age of 86 without fathering children with his wife, Gala.

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"The biological test of the paternity of María Pilar Abel Martínez with respect to Salvador Dalí Domenech is necessary [as] there are no biological remains or personal objects on which to exercise the test by the National Institute of Toxicology," the judge ruled.

The judge ordered that a doctor take a sample from Dalí's corpse for testing at the toxicology institute. The painter's body is resting at the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Spain's city of Figueres, his birthplace.

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Abel's lawsuit alleges she has gone through two paternity tests dating back to 2007 but she was never allowed to receive the results. Abel accuses the Gala Dalí Foundation of attempting to keep the paternity results secret.

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"I am only missing the mustache," Abel said of her physical resemblance to the world-famous painter.

Abel's lawyer Enrique Blánquez said that while a date of exhumation has not been announced, it could occur as early as July, El Confidencial reported.

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If Abel is found to be Dalí's biological heir, she would have the right to 25 percent of the painter's total inheritance, her lawyer argues. One estimate finds Dalí's estate is worth about $335 million.

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