Painter Salvador Dali to be exhumed amid paternity suit

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MADRID – A Madrid court ordered Monday that the remains of Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali be exhumed. The move comes as a woman who claims to be his daughter filed a paternity claim.

The woman, born in 1956, claims she is Dali’s child as a result of an extramarital tryst with her mother, who worked as a maid.

According to a statement from the Madrid Supreme Court, the objective of the exhumation is to “to get samples of his remains to determine whether he is the biological father of a woman from Girona (in northeastern Spain) who filed a claim to be recognized as the daughter of the artist.”

The court explained that it ordered the exhumation due to the “lack of other biological or personal remains with which to compare” the woman’s DNA.

The woman, Pilar Abel Martínez, was born in Figueres, Girona, in 1956. The Martinez family has been trying to prove that Dali was her father since 2007. CNN has reached out to Martínez’s lawyers for comment.

The Salvador Dali Foundation said it will prepare an appeal to fight the court order allowing for the exhumation of the remains of Salvador Dali.

“The Dalí Foundation is preparing an appeal to oppose the carrying out of this exhumation, an appeal that will be presented in the coming days,” a statement from the foundation said.

According to Martinez, her mother told her that she maintained a secret relationship with the painter in Port Lligat in northeastern Spain, close to the border with France, where she was working as a maid for a family who would spend part of the year in that town.

Dali was born in Figueres in 1904 and died there in 1989. He married his wife, Gala, in 1934, but they never had children. Gala died in 1982.

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