MADRID (Reuters) – A Madrid judge has ordered the remains of surrealist Spanish artist Salvador Dali to be exhumed in order to take DNA samples following a paternity claim by a woman from the north of Spain, the court said on Monday.
The court named the woman as Maria Pilar Abel, who is from the northeastern city of Girona. It said the DNA tests were necessary to make a genetic comparison with Dali due to a lack of other biological or personal remains.
Abel, born in 1956, claims her mother had an affair with the painter in the 1950s while she was working as a family employee and has been fighting to have Dali recognized as her father since 2007, according to El Pais newspaper.
She had three DNA tests but never received the results, she told the newspaper in an interview in 2015.
Dali, who died in 1989 aged 84, was a one of the most famous artists from the 20th century surrealist period. He painted pictures like the melting clocks in the 1931 work “The Persistence of Memory” but also turned his hand to movies, sculpture and advertising.
The eccentric artist, recognizable by his long, waxed mustache, was known for outrageous behavior such as giving lectures in an old-fashioned deep-sea diving suit and driving from Spain to Paris in a white Rolls Royce filled with cauliflowers.
(Reporting by Paul Day, editing by Pritha Sarkar)