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Body of Surrealist Painter Dali Exhumed for Paternity Test

  • VOA News

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

A team of forensics experts Thursday opened the tomb of famed Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali to take DNA samples to settle a paternity suit.

In a spectacle that most likely would have pleased the eccentric Dali, a crowd stood outside the Dali Theater-Museum in Figueras, Spain, to watch the experts file in.

Officials in Spain say that hair, nails and two long bones have been removed from Dali’s embalmed remains to find genetic samples for a paternity test.

The sample will be sent to Madrid, where it will be analyzed for a match with the DNA in a saliva sample provided by Maria Pilar Abel, 61.

Pilar Abel poses for a photograph after a news conference in Madrid, where she claimed to be the daughter of eccentric artist Salvador Dali, July 19, 2017.
Pilar Abel poses for a photograph after a news conference in Madrid, where she claimed to be the daughter of eccentric artist Salvador Dali, July 19, 2017.

Abel alleges her mother and Dali had an affair in the fishing village where he lived and that it was no secret among the villagers.

The Dali estate is worth about $460 million. But Abel has said she's not interested in money and only wants to be recognized as Dali's daughter.

Dali is the world's most renowned surrealist painter. His picture of melting watches, The Persistence of Memory, is an icon of surrealism.

Dali was was also known for his long, pencil-thin mustache that curled on each end. He delighted in painting mustaches on the upper lips of those he met.

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