Spain court orders psychic to pay for Dali exhumation

2 min

Madrid (AFP)

A Spanish court has dismissed a paternity lawsuit brought by a psychic who claimed to be Salvador Dali's illegitimate daughter and ordered her to pay for the exhumation of the surrealist painter's remains.

DNA tests prove that Salvador Dali, who died in 1989 aged 84, was not the biological father of Pilar Abel, a 61-year-old who claims her mother had a covert relationship with the artist, according to a Madrid court ruling dated October 13 published on Monday.

The court also ordered Pilar to pay for the exhumation of Dali's remains in July without specifying how much the operation cost.

The arduous task involved removing a slab weighing more than a tonne that covered his tomb at the Dali Theatre-museum in Figueras where the eccentric artist was born in 1904.

Forensics experts then removed DNA samples from Dali's skin, fingernails and two long bones.

Contacted by AFP, the Dali Foundation, which promotes the artist's legacy, said it still had not evaluated the total cost of the exhumation.

The foundation had blasted a court ruling ordering the exhumation as "unusual and unjustified".

Abel can appeal the court's dismissal of the paternity lawsuit.

If she had been confirmed as Dali's only child, she would have been entitled to 25 percent of the huge fortune and heritage of one of the most celebrated and prolific painters of the 20th century, according to her lawyer Enrique Blanquez.

Dali, known for his elongated figures and wilting clocks, left his estate, which includes properties and hundreds of paintings, to the Spanish state.