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Artist Salvador Dali's Body Is Being Exhumed in Paternity Claim
Salvador Dali was laid to rest in January of 1989 at the age of 84 in a crypt below the stage of his Theatre and Museum in Figueres, Spain. But now the artist and filmmaker is set to be exhumed for a paternity claim. Yes, for real, not fake news. Salvador Dalíwas one of the most famous artists of the 20th century surrealist period, painting, sculpting, making movies, and even getting into fashion and photography. His surrealist paintings were often overlooked by his grandiose and unusual public behavior to the dismay of his many followers and his critics.
CNN is reporting that a judge in Madrid has ordered the exhumation of Salvador Dali's body to obtain DNA samples for a paternity claim. Maria Pilar Abel Martinez born in 1956 in Girona, claims that her mother, a maid, had an affair with Dali while he was married to Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, best know as Gala, Dali's muse. "The only thing I'm missing is a mustache" is how Martinez has described herself over the years. The 61-year old tarot card reader (yes, you read that correctly) has claimed since 2007 that she is Salvador Dali's daughter and who would know better than a psychic, right?
Dali never had any other children and left his entire estate to the country of Spain. If Martinez is able to prove that she is indeed the daughter of the famous artist, she'll be entitled to a portion of his state and be granted the use of his name after applying through the Spanish Government. Martinez has apparently had three DNA tests since 2007, but she has never received the results according to her own words. Since there are no biological remains of Salvador Dali to test, the judge has ordered to dig the artist up.
Now this story is strange for a number of reasons, but another factor that should be taken into account is that Salvador Dali was notoriously afraid of physical contact of any kind. He and Gala had an open marriage where Dali took on the role of a voyeur, who liked to watch his wife and muse have sexual relations with other people. Though Dali's artwork focused on sex and depravity, it is rumored that he may have been a virgin before his marriage to Gala. In his autobiography Dali admitted to having an intense addiction to masturbation, preferring the solo act to being with another human being physically.
Martinez claims that her mother stated regularly that her father is Salvador Dali privately and publicly in front of others. There has not been an official date set for the exhumation, but Martinez's lawyer is claiming that it could happen as early as July, which is only a few weeks away. The Dali Foundation has said that an appeal will be 'lodged in the coming days,' which should slow the process down quite a bit. It should be pretty interesting to watch this whole story unfold in court.
Salvador Dali to be exhumed amid paternity suit
A Madrid court ordered Monday that the remains of Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali be exhumed. The move comes as a woman who claims to be his daughter filed a paternity claim.
The woman, born in 1956, claims she is Dali's child as a result of an extramarital tryst with her mother, who worked as a maid.
According to a statement from the Madrid Supreme Court, the objective of the exhumation is to "to get samples of his remains to determine whether he is the biological father of a woman from Girona (in northeastern Spain) who filed a claim to be recognized as the daughter of the artist."
The court explained that it ordered the exhumation due to the "lack of other biological or personal remains with which to compare" the woman's DNA.
The woman, Pilar Abel Martínez, was born in Figueres, Girona, in 1956. The Martinez family has been trying to prove that Dali was her father since 2007. CNN has reached out to Martínez's lawyers for comment.
The Salvador Dali Foundation said it will prepare an appeal to fight the court order allowing for the exhumation of the remains of Salvador Dali.
"The Dalí Foundation is preparing an appeal to oppose the carrying out of this exhumation, an appeal that will be presented in the coming days," a statement from the foundation said.
According to Martinez, her mother told her that she maintained a secret relationship with the painter in Port Lligat in northeastern Spain, close to the border with France, where she was working as a maid for a family who would spend part of the year in that town.
Dali was born in Figueres in 1904 and died there in 1989. He married his wife, Gala, in 1934, but they never had children. Gala died in 1982.