Exhumation of Salvador Dalí’s Remains Finds His Mustach…

The Associated Press

Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí’s embalmed remains to find genetic samples for a paternity test — a move that opens the possibility for a woman who says she is the surrealist artist’s daughter to claim part of the Dalí estate.

Officials said Friday that the artist’s mummified remains were so well conserved that even his famous mustache had survived the passing of time and remained in “its classic shape of ten past ten,” referring to the positions of the hands on a clock.

Dalí was buried in the Dalí Museum Theater in the northeastern Spanish town of Figueres, his birthplace, when he died at 84 years old in 1989. The exhumation followed longstanding claims by Pilar Abel, a 61-year-old tarot card reader, who says her mother had an affair with Dalí in the town.

In June, a Madrid judge finally ruled that a DNA test should be performed to find out whether her allegations were true.

Forensic experts opened the artist’s coffin Thursday night in a sensitive operation that involved using pulleys to lift a 1.5-ton stone slab.

Related: Salvador Dalí’s Remains Exhumed for Paternity Test

Lluis Penuelas Reixach, the secretary general of the Gala Dalí Foundation, said Dalí’s remains — including his mustache — are well conserved, mummified after the embalming process applied 27 years ago. He was speaking to reporters Friday during a press conference in Figueres.

According to judicial authorities, only five people —a judge, three coroners and an assistant— were allowed to oversee the removal of the samples out of respect for the remains and in order to avoid any contamination.

Representatives of the foundation managing Dalí’s estate said Friday the evidence backing Abel’s claims weren’t enough to justify the intrusive exhumation, and that it will continue a legal battle to nullify the paternity test.




Image: Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali