This story was updated on 09/14/17, read DNA Test Proves Salvador Dali Not The Father Of Tarot Card Reader Maria Pilar Abel Martinez Who Won Case To Have His Body Exhumed And Tested
On June 20th, 2017 a psychic from Spain won her two-year-old lawsuit for the right to have Salvador Dali’s body- the pioneer of Surrealist art- exhumed for paternity testing.
The case goes back to March of 2015 when astrologist and tarot card reader from Gerona, Spain filed a paternity suit in Madrid against the Spanish state, to whom Dali left his estate and the artist’s foundation. Abel is claiming to be the daughter of Dali. If she is correct in her claims, she could be entitled to a very large amount of the artist’s estate.
The ruling last week by a judge in Madrid paves the way for the process of having the Surreal artist’s remains exhumed from his final resting place in Figueres, Spain. Exhuming his body will allow for DNA tests to be conducted, DNA tests that could potentially prove Abel’s claims. According to the BBC, the process to exhume his body could happen as soon as next month. Dali’s foundation already has plans to appeal the decision.
The psychic has had DNA tests performed about 10 years ago using skin and hair collected from Dali’s death mask, but the results came back as inconclusive. Abel claims that her mother and Dali met in Cadaques, Spain where her mother served as a domestic aide to a family to took frequent vacations there and where Dali also had a residence. She states that the two of them met one day and had an affair while Dali was married to Gala, his muse. Abel was born in 1956 and claims that the affair happened in 1955.
The psychic says that her mother told her on multiple occasions, including in the presence of others, that Dali was her father. Dali passed away at the age of 85 in 1989.
A spokeswoman from Dali’s foundation when reached for a comment said, “The Dali Foundation is preparing an appeal to oppose this exhumation that will be lodged in the coming days. Our internal legal team, together with the Roca Junyent, S.L.P office are working on this appeal in coordination with the State Attorney.”
There are several Dali experts that do not believe Abel and her claims. One such skeptic is a man named Nicolas Descharnes who co-authored research and books about Dali with his father, who was Dali’s former secretary. His father also served as the administrator of the artist’s copyright until his death in 2014. The younger Descharnes told EFE, a Spanish news agency, in 2008 that there was “no relationship between this woman and Salvador Dali.”
If Abel’s claims are proven correct, the result will have serious financial implications for Dali’s estate. She could be entitled to a 25 percent share of his estate, which is estimated to be about $336 million. His ‘Portrait of Paul Eluard’ (1929) set the record for Dali when it sold in 2011 for $21.7 million, according to the artnet Price Database.