The Spanish court ordered the exhumation of Salvador Dalí's body following a request of paternity test from Pilar Abel, a 61-year-old tarot card reader who claimed to be the daughter of the surrealist artist. According to a statement released by the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, which manages the artist’s estate, the DNA test proves Pilar Abel unrelated to Dalí.
The foundation said in the statement that “this conclusion comes as no surprise to the foundation,” and it is pleased that the report put an end to an “absurd and artificial controversy”
Dalí Theatre and Museum
Abel said that her mother, a maid at one of Dali's homes in Port Lligat, had a love affair with the artist. Abel pointed out the resemblance between her and Dali was so obvious that “the only thing I’m missing is a moustache”.
The Spanish court had granted Pilar Abel the permission to extract DNA from traces of hair and skin from Dalí’s death mask, but the test results were inconclusive. As a result, the court ordered the exhumation of Dalí’s remains. On 20 July this year, forensic experts used pulleys to lift a 1-ton stone slab from Dali’s crypt to extract samples from the artist’s hair, nails, teeth and two long bones.
There are mixed reactions over the test results. Some people are furious that Dali’s dead body was exhumed for nothing because of this groundless allegation while some believe that the attention-grabbing artist would be happy to learn that he still caught so much public attention after his death.
Dalí is buried in a crypt beneath Dalí Theatre and Museum
Abel told the Spanish media that neither she nor her lawyers had yet received the results of the test. “Until I’ve got official word, they can say what they like,” she said. “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.”