Nearly 30 years after his death in 1989, Salvador Dalí’s remains were exhumed last week in order take DNA samples to resolve a paternity case. He was buried in a crypt which he designed for himself beneath the Dali museum in Figueres.
Pilar Abel, a 61-year-old fortune-teller, claims to be Dali’s only child, fruit of his illicit affair with her mother in 1955 when she worked as a young maid in Cadaquès. At the time, he was already married to his muse, Gala, but they never had any children together.
After 10 years attempting to prove this, including two inconclusive DNA tests, a judge decision to go ahead with the exhumation has opened up a can of worms (!) as she will be entitled to a quarter of his massive estate if DNA tests from teeth and bones prove positive. There is of course strong opposition from the ‘heirs’ – the tax office and The Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, administrator of the estate – who unsuccessfully appealed against the judgement.
Abel claims both a strong physical resemblance to the great artist (“the only thing I’m missing is a moustache”) and quotes her grandmother telling her that she is “odd like her father”.