Salvador Dalí’s Exhumed Body Still Has Signature Mustache Intact
Upon exhuming Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí‘s body for a paternity test, forensic experts found that his famous mustache was still intact Thursday night.
According to one of the experts, Dalí’s trademark still remained in the “classic shape of ten past ten,” like the hands of a clock, says the BBC.
After a four-hour operation, parts of the painter’s hair, nails, and bones were extracted to perform a DNA test.
The body was exhumed as part of a paternity case brought by Maria Pilar Abel Martinez, a 61-year-old Spanish tarot card reader, who claims that Dalí was her father by way of an affair with her mother. Without any evidence, a Spanish judge ruled that Dalí’s body be exhumed and a DNA test be performed to prove the validity of Martinez’s claims.
Results from the tests will most likely take several weeks.
If Martinez’s claims are correct, she could be awarded a large sum of Dalí’s estate, which currently is held by a public trust – Dalí left his estate to the Spanish state.
Narcis Bardalet, the person in charge of Dalí’s embalming when the painter died 28 years ago, was also on hand of the exhuming process.
“It was like a miracle,” Bardalet said of the painter’s pristine condition to RAC1 radio on Friday morning. “When I took off the silk handkerchief, I was very emotional. I was eager to see him and I was absolutely stunned … his mustache appeared at 10 past 10 exactly and his hair was intact.”
Dalí’s body was buried at the Theatre and Museum he designed for himself in Figueres, Spain, his hometown. The Theatre and Museum also contains the largest collection of his work.
Dalí died on January 23, 1989 in his hometown at the age of 84. With the potential exception of Martinez, the painter had no children but was married to Elena Ivanovna Diakonova from 1934 until her death.