Spain Is Digging Up Salvador Dalí's Body Because the World Is a Surreal Nightmare

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

A Spanish judge just ordered the body of Salvador Dalí to be exhumed for a paternity test. The order comes as a result of a lawsuit filed by a woman named Pilar Abel, a tarot card reader who claims to be Dalí’s illegitimate daughter. In court, Abel claimed that her mother was working near the Dalí family’s vacation home in the 1950s and that the two “had a friendship that developed into clandestine love.” Now, Abel wants to be recognized as the surrealist’s rightful heir.


This legal battle has been going on for over a decade. Abel attempted to get DNA proof that Dalí is her father back in 2007, using hair and skin remains taken from the painter’s death mask. The results of that test were inconclusive, however, and there are no other biological remains. That’s why Abel sought the court order to exhume Dalí’s body. Abel also claims that Dalí’s own mother first suggested that she was Dalí’s long lost daughter and, according to the complaint, told Abel that she was “as weird as [her] father.” Abel’s lawsuit, filed against the Dalí family as well as the Dalí Foundation, now seeks to give her full rights over the Dalí copyrights as well as the right to carry on his name. However, according to El Pais, “all this would be subject to another demand.”

But the next, dark step to solving this mystery involves digging up Dalí’s body and getting some DNA samples. Dalí died in 1989 and is now buried in a tomb in a crypt below the stage at the Dalí Theater and Museum in Figueres, Spain. So it seems that Dalí’s remains will return to the world of the living, however briefly, in characteristically dramatic fashion. Seems fitting for the world’s most famous surrealist.

[El Pais via BBC]

Senior editor at Gizmodo.



My wife’s grandfather worked in construction and his constant traveling made it possible for him to maintain two families in two separate towns. He had seven kids on one side, at least seven on the other. When he fell ill, he chose to go live with his “first” family until his death. The two families became aware of each other shortly after, but the other family denied the truth about his “second” family.

Fast forward 40 years.

My wife recently had her DNA analyzed by Ancestry. Once yours is done, Ancestry shows you any relatives in your tree who also have completed the Ancestry DNA test. You guessed it - one of the people in the “first” family showed up in my wife’s tree and the connection is through their common grandfather.

We look forward to the day when they realize that he really did have a second family. Nobody is making demands for an inheritance, but I think seven people would like to be recognized as part of his family.