Salvador Dali was laid to rest in January of 1989 at the age of 84 in a crypt below the stage of his Theatre and Museum in Figueres, Spain. But now the artist and filmmaker is set to be exhumed for a paternity claim. Yes, for real, not fake news. Salvador Dalí was one of the most famous artists of the 20th century surrealist period, painting, sculpting, making movies, and even getting into fashion and photography. His surrealist paintings were often overlooked by his grandiose and unusual public behavior to the dismay of his many followers and his critics.
CNN is reporting that a judge in Madrid has ordered the exhumation of Salvador Dali's body to obtain DNA samples for a paternity claim. Maria Pilar Abel Martinez born in 1956 in Girona, claims that her mother, a maid, had an affair with Dali while he was married to Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, best know as Gala, Dali's muse. "The only thing I'm missing is a mustache" is how Martinez has described herself over the years. The 61-year old tarot card reader (yes, you read that correctly) has claimed since 2007 that she is Salvador Dali's daughter and who would know better than a psychic, right?
Dali never had any other children and left his entire estate to the country of Spain. If Martinez is able to prove that she is indeed the daughter of the famous artist, she'll be entitled to a portion of his state and be granted the use of his name after applying through the Spanish Government. Martinez has apparently had three DNA tests since 2007, but she has never received the results according to her own words. Since there are no biological remains of Salvador Dali to test, the judge has ordered to dig the artist up.
Now this story is strange for a number of reasons, but another factor that should be taken into account is that Salvador Dali was notoriously afraid of physical contact of any kind. He and Gala had an open marriage where Dali took on the role of a voyeur, who liked to watch his wife and muse have sexual relations with other people. Though Dali's artwork focused on sex and depravity, it is rumored that he may have been a virgin before his marriage to Gala. In his autobiography Dali admitted to having an intense addiction to masturbation, preferring the solo act to being with another human being physically.
Martinez claims that her mother stated regularly that her father is Salvador Dali privately and publicly in front of others. There has not been an official date set for the exhumation, but Martinez's lawyer is claiming that it could happen as early as July, which is only a few weeks away. The Dali Foundation has said that an appeal will be 'lodged in the coming days,' which should slow the process down quite a bit. It should be pretty interesting to watch this whole story unfold in court.