Controversial case

Judge orders Salvador Dali’s body to be exhumed in paternity suit

(Carl Van Vechten/Wikimedia Commons)

A woman claiming to be Salvador Dalí’s daughter has been granted a court order to exhume the legendary Spanish painter’s body, which will be used to provide a DNA sample in a paternity dispute.

Maria Pilar Abel Martínez, a tarot card reader, says that her mother had an affair with Dalí while working as his maid, the BBC reports. Because the artist, who died in 1989, did not leave behind any biological remains or personal objects that could be used in a DNA test, a judge in Madrid has ordered his remains to be exhumed.

The Dalí Foundation, which manages Dalí’s estate, says it will appeal the court’s decision.

In 2015, Martínez told The New York Times that she wants to be recognized as Dalí’s daughter. She also stands to inherit millions of dollars, should DNA tests link her to the artist. Dalí bequeathed his possessions to the Spanish state, and according to Martínez’s lawyer, the country inherited paintings worth approximately $325 million.

Martínez said that she first learned about her paternity from her grandmother, when she was 8 years old. Her mother confirmed the story. Martínez believes that she shares enough physical similarities with the artist to bolster her family’s claims.

“The only thing I’m missing is a mustache,” she once said, according to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

Read the full story at the BBC.


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