Salvador Dali’s Body To Be Exhumed In Paternity Suit Brought By Maria Pilar Abel Martinez
Artist Salvador Dali‘s body has been ordered to be exhumed in accordance with a paternity suit brought by a woman in Spain.
The woman, Maria Pilar Abel Martinez, 61, claims that her mother had a secret affair with Dali while she was working as a maid for a neighbor of Daili’s in the ’50s.
Martinez’s mother told her on many occasions that Dali was her father. Martinez, who, according to NPR, works as a tarot card reader, first made the paternity claim in 2015.
Because no biological remains or personal objects are available to determine paternity, a judge in Madrid has ordered that Dali’s body be exhumed and that DNA tests be performed on his bones in order to settle the suit.
The Dali Foundation, which manages the surrealist painter’s estate, has said that they will appeal the judge’s decision.
Dali died in 1989 at the age of 85. He is currently buried in the Theatre and Museum he designed himself in Figueres, Spain, his hometown. The Theatre and Museum also contains the largest collection of the mustachioed painter’s work.
Dali married Gala Dali in 1958 until her death in 1982. The couple had no children together and their sex life was often an obsession of his fans, critics, and the press. It was rumored that the painter was gay and that he and his wife never engaged sexually because of his fear of being touched.
Martinez’s claim of the affair would mean that Dali was not faithful to his wife, who he was married to at the time of Martinez’s birth.
Because Spain is the proprietor of Dali’s estate, her legal action is against the Spanish state.
If DNA tests confirm that she is in fact Dali’s daughter, Martinez could use his surname and have access to his estate, although she would first have to legally request it.
No date has been set for the exhumation – and it may not happen after the appeal – but if the decision is upheld, it could happen as soon as July.