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Salvador Dali's body to be exhumed for paternity claim, Spanish court orders

A Spanish woman claims her mother had an affair with the surrealist artist while working as a maid

Clarisse Loughrey
Monday 26 June 2017 15:24 BST
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The artist died in Spain in 1989
The artist died in Spain in 1989 (AFP/Getty)

A judge in Madrid has ordered the exhumation of the remains of artist Salvador Dali for a paternity suit.

A Spanish woman, Maria Pilar Abel Martinez, 61, has claimed that the prominent surrealist is her father and that he had an affair with her mother, a maid, in 1955.

It was ruled that since there are no biological remains or personal objects of the artist that could be used in a paternity test, Dali’s body will be exhumed in order to acquire the necessary samples.

The artist died in Spain in 1989, aged 84. He is buried in his home town of Figueres in the north-eastern Catalonia region of Spain.

Ms Martinez, a tarot card reader born in Girona, first made the claim back in 2015.


Dali was married to Gala, born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, a muse to many writers and artists of her generation, until her death in 1982. The couple had no children.

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