Madrid judge orders Salvador Dali's body be exhumed for paternity test

Though Catholic himself, Dali was fascinated by Israel and the Zionist movement, creating numerous exhibitions on the subject.

June 26, 2017 20:27
1 minute read.
Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO)


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The buried remains of eccentric surrealist artist Salvador Dali will be exhumed for testing in a paternity suit following an order by a judge in Madrid, the BBC reported Monday.

Maria Pilar Abel Martínez, born in 1956, claims that her mother had a secret liaison with the famous painter the previous year while working as a maid for a family who vacationed in Cadaqués near Dali's home.

Martínez's mother, Antonia, left Cadaqués that same year and married another man.

The judge presiding over the case handed down the decree after contemporary biological evidence could not be produced during proceedings, leading to the decision that Dali's body be unearthed in order to conduct a paternity test.

At the time of the alleged affair, Dali was married to his wife Gala, born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova. The couple remained childless throughout their marriage.

Martínez, a tarot card reader who was born in Girona, first made the claim in 2015, according to the BBC.

"The only thing I'm missing is a mustache," she once said, according to newspaper El Mundo (in Spanish).

Martinez has previously sought to prove her assertions by undergoing two paternity tests in 2007, but never received the results. The reasons why remain unclear.

Martinez's suit is leveled against the Spanish government, who inherited Dali's estate upon his death as requested in his will.

If her claims are proven to be valid, she stands to acquire the legal use of the Dali name and a portion of his estate.

No date has been set for the exhumation, according to Spanish media, but action could be taken as early as July.

Though Catholic himself, Dali was fascinated by Israel and the Zionist movement, creating numerous exhibitions on the subject and donated dozens of priceless works of art to Israeli museums across the country.

One of his most famous contributions is a seven-foot golden menorah that sits just outside the entrance of Ben-Gurion Airport to greet arrivals.

Golden Menorah at Ben-Gurion Airport donated by Salvador Dali. (Photo by: Public Domain)

Dali was buried in his home town of Figueres in the north-eastern Catalonia region in 1989 at the age of 85.

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