Forensic experts open Dali's coffin to take DNA

Calvin Saunders
July 22, 2017

Forensic experts exhumed Dali's body on Thursday (20 July) to help settle a long-standing paternity claim from a 61-year-old fortune teller who insists that she is the artist's only daughter.

She is suing the Gala-Salvador DalĂ­ Foundation and the Spanish state, which inherited the surrealist painter's works in a bid to claim a quarter of his fortune.

Salvador Dali's mustache was found intact when forensic experts exhumed his body.

If Abel is proved to be Dali's progeny, she could claim a significant portion of the painter's estate, which is now in the hands of a public foundation, according to Abel's lawyer Enrique Blanquez.

He said: "I was eager to see him and I was absolutely stunned". Dali designed the building himself.

"I just want to know the truth, and that's all", was given Wednesday evening Pilar, Abel, who is born and raised in Figueres, the town where Dali was born in 1904 and died in 1989, to journalists in Madrid. In order to respect the privacy of the artist's remains and to lessen the risk of contaminating any biological samples, only five people - a judge, three forensic experts and an assistant- stayed during the hour and 20 minutes that the coffin stayed open.

It may take weeks before the results of the tests are known.

The Salvador Dali Foundation says it will seek financial compensation for the costs of the exhumation if Ms Abel is wrong.

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To avoid that the entire image is taken of the dye black that have been set up around the crypt and the many reporters dispatched to cover the event held in the gap.

To ensure no photos were taken of Dali's body, mobile phones were placed in a deposit box and a marquee was installed under the museum's glass dome.

The sample taken should be sent to the Institute of toxicology of Madrid to be compared to that of Pilar, Abel, a brunette woman with big black eyes.

Dali's paternity lawsuit was a topic of discussion Thursday among the lines of visitors at the museum.

Pilar Abel was born in Figueres in 1956 and has been insisting the artist is her father since 2007, explaining her mother had an affair with Dali while working on the Costa Brava, before then marrying another man. "But I think it is surreal that they have to unearth his body after such a long time".

But, Dali's followers doubt the claims.

Dali and his Russian wife Gala - whose birth name was Elena Ivanovna Diakonova - had no children of their own, although Gala had a daughter from an earlier marriage to French poet Paul Eluard. "This is self-publicity".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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