DNA taken from Salvador Dalí crypt in Figueres for paternity case

The outrageous decision was taken after a Spanish woman, Pilar Abel, required in court to conduct paternity test on Salvador Dali's remains because she is 100% convinced that the artist is her father, reports BBC News, quoting the Spanish press.

In an interview with AFP last month, just days after a court ordered the exhumation, Abel said her grandmother first told her she was Dali's daughter when she was seven or eight years old, and her mother admitted it much later.

If the tests proved his paternity, she could claim according to his lawyer 25% of the legacy of Dali, fully surrendered to the Spanish State: at the time of his death, we were talking about hundreds of works of art, of which 250 signed by the artist clocks soft, but also properties in Catalonia.

"Getting the samples, that is, molars, teeth, long bones, in order to extract DNA will be easy, because the body will be in a relatively good condition", Mr Bardalet said.

"I am not at all anxious about it", she said.

The tarot-card reader said her mother Antonia had said Dali was her father.

Four people carrying a coffin entered the Dali Theater Museum on Thursday, one hour after doors closed to visitors.

If her allegations turn out to be true, she would be the only daughter of the famous 20th-century painter, and that would give her a chance to claim a quarter of his huge fortune, estimated at almost 400 million euros ($460 million) at the end of 2016, according to the Salvador Dali Foundation.

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Maria Pilar Abel, 60, filed a lawsuit in September 2016, against Dali's heirs, the Spanish treasury and the Gala Dali Foundation claiming to be the artist's daughter and demanding a share of the inheritance.

Lluis Penuelas Reixach, secretary general of the Dali Foundation, said the exhumation was "a moving moment for (Badalet) and for us".

If she is proved wrong, the Dali foundation will seek financial compensation for the costs of the exhumation.

The operation takes place in the greatest secrecy, and to the shelter of the glances, in the Theatre-Museum Dali from Figueras, which the painter was buried, some 140 km north of Barcelona.

A question has always hung over his sexuality, with some claiming he was a closet homosexual who preferred to watch others having sex rather than taking part.

Dali died in 1989 at the age of 85.

Returning to Catalonia after 12 years, he invited French poet Paul Eluard and his Russian wife Elena Ivanovna Diakonova to Cadaques.

At the time of the alleged affair between the two, Salvador Dali was married to Gala.

  • Michelle Webb