Body of Salvador Dali will be exhumed to collect DNA samples to help settle paternity claim

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Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali (1904 - 1989), 29th December 1964. (Photo by Terry Fincher/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

MADRID (CNN) — A Madrid court has ordered that the remains of Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali be exhumed. The move comes 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 he had with her mother, who worked as a maid.

According to a statement from the Madrid Supreme Court on Monday, 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 family has been trying to prove Dali was the woman’s father since 2007. CNN has reached out to Martínez’s lawyers for comment.

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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