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DNA Test on Salvador Dali's Remains Disproves Paternity Claim

  • VOA News

FILE - Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali is pictured at an exhibition in Paris, May 21, 1973.

DNA tests done on the remains of Spanish surreal artist Salvador Dali revealed he is not the father of a Spanish psychic who claimed to be his only child and heir.

The Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation said in a statement released Wednesday that the results showed "the exclusion of Salvador Dali as the biological father of María Pilar Abel Martínez."

In June, a court in Madrid ordered the artist’s body to be exhumed after previous attempts to determine paternity had failed. A month later, experts entered the crypt beneath the museum Dali designed for himself in his home town of Figueres to take DNA samples from his hair, nails and bones.

Abel had alleged her mother and Dali had an affair in the fishing village where he lived and that it was no secret among the villagers. She claimed she was not interested in his estate and only wanted to be recognized as his daughter.

"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."

Dali, who died in 1989, is the world's most renown surrealist painter. His picture melting watches, "The Persistence of Memory," is an icon of surrealism.

He is also known for a long pencil-thin mustache and eccentric behavior.