The body of the Spanish Surrealist painter Salvador Dali was exhumed in the bid to settle a court case. This is trying to address a paternity claim coming from Maria Pilar Abel, who is seeking to prove that the artist was her father.
The court litigation began in 2015, as Ms. Abel sued the Ministry of France, the trustee of Dali’s Estate, as well as the Gala Dali Foundation, which administers this former.
Samples Will be Taken from the Embalmed Body of Salvador Dali
Salvador Dali, the world famous Surrealist painter, died in 1989 at the age of 84. His body was first embalmed by Narcis Bardalet and then buried in Figueras. This northern Spanish town is the artist’s final resting place and also his home town.
Maria Pilar Abel was born in 1956 in the same town and has been claiming for years now that the painter is her father. According to her allegations, her mother, Antonia, and Dali had an affair. Ms. Abel reports having asked her mother if this man was, in fact, her father, to which the woman reportedly replied “Yes”.
At the time of the alleged affair between the two, Salvador Dali was married to Gala. His wife and muse passed away seven years before the artist. Although Gala had a daughter from a previous marriage, the couple had no children of its own.
Care Will Be Needed in Collecting the Samples
After exhuming Dali’s body, legal experts and forensic specialists began collecting samples from the embalmed remains. The attempts to extract DNA from them will reportedly be successful.
However, Bardalet, his embalmer, points out that “there are also difficulties because [the body] has been embalmed and the formaldehyde could have damaged the nucleus of the cells”.
According to reports, only hair samples and possibly a tooth will be taken, to prevent damage to the body.
The day before the exhumation began, Maria Pilar Abel reported feeling “very positive”. She considers that thanks to these new tests, she will be able to prove that Salvador Dali was her father. They could also help resolve the court paternity claims.
If proven right, the woman will be entitled to a quarter share of Dali’s estate and also his paintings and copyright. Ms. Abel states that she is more interested in finding out the results of the DNA tests. These will become available in a number of weeks.
Salvador Dali’s remains have been resting in a crypt under the stage of the Figueras domed Theatre-Museum. This hosts some of the painter’s works and also some paintings from his collection.
Image Source: Wikimedia