Vintage

28 Year Later, Salvador Dali Is Being Dug Up For A Paternity Test

A Spanish woman, born in 1956, is claiming that her mother had a love affair with painter Salvador Dali in 1955, and that she is the rightful heir to his fortune.

The judge stated there were no biological remains or personal objects that can be used to test the DNA, so his body will have to be exhumed to conclude the case.

The surrealist painter was buried in the theater and museum that he designed himself in his home town of Figueres. He is buried under the stage of the old theater which now has become a popular tourist attraction, with 1.3 million visitors in 2015.

Salvador Dali died of heart failure in Spain in 1989 at the age of 85 years old.

Known for his contribution and influence of Renaissance masters, his work The Persistence of Memory was completed in August 1931.

Dali's extensive artistic portfolio also included work in film, sculpture and photography.

He was very highly imaginative and indulged in unusual behavior that often drew more attention than his artwork.

There has been much debate over the sexuality of the eccentric artist who has paintings of naked women being pierced by chests of drawers and watches melting in the sun.

He once even paraded an anteater on a lead and almost suffocated while walking around in a bronze diving helmet.

Continue to the next page to find out about the woman's claim and the date for the exhumation.

Maria Pilar Martinez is a tarot card reader who was born in Girona.

Her mother, Antonia, was a maid and worked in Cadaques, next to where Dali had a home. After leaving her job in 1955 and moving to a different city to marry another man, the paternity of her daughter was always in question.

Martinez insists that her mother told her several times that Dali was her father.

"The only thing I'm missing is a mustache," she once said, according to newspaper El Mundo (in Spanish).

At the time of the affair, Dali was married to his muse Gala, born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova. The couple had no children. They met in 1929 and she was 10 years his senior and married to his friend Paul Eluard at the time. The couple later married and she became both his muse and business manager.

She spent most of the year in a small castle which he was only allowed to visit in her absence and with her written permission.

Dali was shattered when she died in 1982.

The Tarot card reader and fortune teller has been trying for close to 10 years to prove that she is Dali's only child, therefore under Spanish law she would be entitled to a quarter of his fortune.

Martinez's legal action is against the Spanish state, to which Dali left his estate when he died.

“The DNA study of the painter’s corpse is necessary due to the lack of other biological or personal remains with which to perform the comparative study,” the ruling said.

If she is confirmed to be the artist's daughter, she could legally use his surname and be entitled to part of his estate.

There is no date for the exhumation, but it could happen as early as July.