Salvador Dali’s body has to be exhumed to get samples for a paternity suit, a judge in Madrid has ruled.
A Spanish woman, Maria Pilar Abel Martínez, who was born in 1956, said her mother, a maid, had a clandestine affair with Salvador Dali in 1955.
In ordering the exhumation, the judge said there were no biological remains or personal objects of the surrealist painter to be used in the paternity test.
Salvador Dali died in Spain 1989, at the age of 85.
The artist was buried in the theater and museum he designed himself, in his home town of Figueres in the north-eastern Catalonia region.
Maria Pilar Abel Martínez, a tarot card reader who was born in Girona, made the claim for the first time in 2015.
The woman said her mother, Antonia, had worked for a family that spent time in Cadaqués, next to where Salvador Dali had a home.
Her mother then left her job in 1955, moved to a different city and married another man.
Maria Pilar Abel Martínez claimed that her mother told her several times that Salvador Dalí was her father, on many occasions in front of others.
“The only thing I’m missing is a moustache,” she once said, according to El Mundo.
At the time of the alleged affair, Salvador Dalí was married to his muse Gala, born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova. The couple had no children.
The decision also cites that Maria Pilar Abel Martínez underwent two paternity tests, both in 2007, but never received the results.
Her legal action is against the Spanish state, to which Salvador Dalí left his estate. The court said the decision could be appealed.
If the woman is confirmed to be Salvador Dali’s daughter, she could use his surname and be entitled to part of his estate – but Spanish media say she would have to legally request it.
Maria Pilar Abel Martínez’s lawyer said there was no date for the exhumation, but that it could happen as soon as July. The Gala Dalí Foundation has not commented.