FIGUERES, Spain: Salvador Dali’s remains are to be exhumed on Thursday (Friday in Manila) from his Spanish hometown in an effort to test a fortune teller’s claims the renowned surrealist is her father.
The artist’s body is buried in the elaborate museum of his work Dali designed himself in the northeastern Spanish town of Figueres, where he was born over 110 years ago.
Pilar Abel, a 61-year-old who long worked as a psychic in Catalonia, says her mother had a relationship with the artist when she worked in Port Lligat, a tiny fishing hamlet where the painter lived for years.
If Abel is confirmed as the only child of Dali, she could be entitled to part of the huge fortune and heritage of one of the most celebrated and prolific painters of the 20th century.
The Salvador Dali Foundation had tried to fight off the exhumation with an appeal, but there was not enough time for all parties to present their case, a court spokesman told Agence France-Presse.
Barring some “administrative or logistical surprise”, the exhumation will go ahead, he said.
Authorities will begin removing the over one-ton slab covering the tomb of the eccentric artist, who died in 1989 with no known child heirs, after visitors have cleared out for the day from the Dali Theatre-Museum.
Experts will take DNA samples in the form of bone or tooth fragments directly from the grave where Dali was buried and they will then be sent to Madrid to undergo the necessary tests.
Abel has already provided a saliva sample for comparison, with results expected within a matter of weeks, said the woman’s lawyer Enrique Blanquez.