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Surreal: Psychic isn’t Salvador Dali’s daughter, says DNA

Published : Sep 7, 2017, 7:00 am IST
Updated : Sep 7, 2017, 7:01 am IST

Forensic experts then removed DNA samples from the surrealist artist’s skin, nail and two long bones.

Salvador Dali
 Salvador Dali

Madrid: A DNA test on the exhumed remains of Salvador Dali show he is not the father of a Spanish psychic claiming to be his illegitimate daughter, the Dali Foundation said on Wednesday.

A court had ordered Dali’s exhumation to settle the paternity suit lodged by Pilar Abel, who would have been entitled to a share of his vast fortune if she was found to be his daughter.

“The DNA tests show that Pilar Abel is not Dali’s daughter,” the foundation, which had tried to stop the exhumation, said in a statement.

“The paternity suit forced the exhumation of the remains of the artist,” it added.

The arduous task of the exhumation in July  involved removing a slab weighing more than a tonne that covered his tomb at the Dali Theatre-Museum in Figueras in northeastern Spain where the eccentric artist was born.

Forensic experts then removed DNA samples from the surrealist artist’s skin, nail and two long bones.

The Dali Foundation’s lawyer, Alber Segura, had warned that Abel could land up with a big bill.

“If Pilar Abel is not Dali’s daughter then we must ask this woman to reimburse the costs of the exhumation,” he had said at the time of the exhumation.

Abel, a 61-year-old who long worked as a tarot card reader in Catalonia, claims her mother had a relationship with the artist when she worked in Cadaques, a picturesque Spanish port where the painter lived for years.

A Madrid judge in June granted her a DNA test to find out whether her allegations are true.

If Abel had been confirmed as Dali’s only child, she would have been entitled to 25 per cent of the huge fortune and heritage of one of the most celebrated and prolific painters of the 20th century, according to her lawyer Enrique Blanquez.

A number of Dali experts had raised their eyebrows at Abel’s claim before his body was exhumed, with biographer Ian Gibson noting the artist's own claim of “I’m impotent, you’ve got to be impotent to be a great painter”.

It is not known how Abel, who had been told from an early age she was the painter’s daughter, has responded to the news.

Tags: salvador dali, dali foundation