Salvador Dali exhumation DNA test reveals Pilar Abel not his daughter | News | DW | 06.09.2017
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Salvador Dali exhumation DNA test reveals Pilar Abel not his daughter

A Spanish court had ordered Salvador Dali's body be dug up to investigate the paternity claims of a psychic. Tests have revealed the truth behind the matter.

A DNA test on the exhumed remains of Salvador Dali disproved a Spanish psychic who had claimed that she was his illegitimate daughter, the surrealist painter's foundation claimed on Wednesday.

The Madrid court that had ordered Dali's body be dug up for testing informed the Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation that Pilar Abel had no biological relationship with Dali, the foundation said in a statement.

The 61-year-old tarot card reader had long claimed that her birth was the result of an affair between her mother and Dali and that she was entitled to part of his vast estate. She said her mother worked in Dali's household in the mid-1950s, during his marriage to his muse Gala.

In July, forensic scientists took samples of hair, nail and bone from Dali's body on the orders of a Spanish judge the previous month.

Read more: Salvador Dali exhumation in paternity lawsuit begins

"This conclusion is not a surprise for the Foundation, since at no point has there been any evidence that she was a relative," said the foundation, which manages Dali's estate.

"The Foundation is happy that this puts an end to an absurd and artificial controversy."

The results of the test were expected to form Abel's principal argument in a paternity trial due to start on September 18.

Abel told Reuters news agency she had not yet received the results from the court.

The order to exhume Dali's body shocked the country, with Spain's Minister of Culture Inigo Mendez de Vigo saying at the time the procedure "breaks my heart."

Read more: Dali, Breton, Magritte: The attraction of surrealism

The Dali Foundation said the court order to exhume Dali was "unusual and unjustified."

Moustache intact

Digging him up required removing a slab weighing more than a ton that covered his tomb at the Dali Theatre-Museum in Figueras in northeastern Spain, where the artist was born.

The man responsible for embalming Dali's body, Narcis Bardalet, told Catalan radio station RAC1 that he was present at the exhumation and that Dali's trademark moustache was still intact 28 years after being buried.

"When I took off the silk handkerchief, I was very emotional. I was eager to see him and I was absolutely stunned. It was like a miracle ... his moustache appeared at 10 past 10 exactly and his hair was intact," Bardalet said the morning after the exhumation.

Read more: Salvador Dali's exhumation reveals his iconic mustache survived

The foundation said Dali's remains would soon be returned to his coffin and buried.

The foundation controls Dali's entire estate, which it said was worth nearly €400 million ($460 million) at the end of 2016.

aw/bw (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

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