A Spanish court has ruled that the body of surrealist painter Salvador Dalí be exhumed in order to conduct DNA tests to determine if Dalí was the father of a 60-year-old tarot card reader.
Since 2007, Pilar Abel, who occasionally appears on Spanish TV to do tarot readings, has claimed that her mother told her about a secret affair she had in the 1950s with the painter. According to Abel, her grandmother knew about the affair as well and often said that Abel was “strange, like [her] father.” Dalí died in 1989 and is officially childless, having been married to the equally eccentric Gala. The two lived apart, and Dalí only saw his wife at her written invitation.
Dalí’s body of work, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, was bequeathed to the Spanish state upon his death. He is buried under a theater in Catalonia, which has become a museum and major tourist destination. Abel has in the past said that establishing paternity was her main goal, but that she would seek “whatever corresponds to me” in terms of an inheritance.
In 2007, Dalí’s still-living former assistant agreed to help Abel in her quest by submitting old nasal tubes Dalí used after nearly dying in a fire for DNA testing, but the results were inconclusive. So far, no date for the exhumation has been set.
(via Washington Post)