Artist ex­humed for pa­ter­nity test

Waikato Times Weekend - - WORLD -

SPAIN: He fa­mously claimed he would never die, so per­haps Sal­vador Dali might have been amused by the spec­ta­cle of be­ing raised from his tomb to set­tle a claim that he se­cretly fa­thered a tele­vi­sion for­tune teller.

Un­der the cover of dark­ness and amid tight se­cu­rity, the body of the sur­re­al­ist mas­ter was yes­ter­day ex­humed from its crypt in the Cata­lan town of Figueres for DNA test­ing that will prove whether or not Pi­lar Abel Martinez, 61, is his bi­o­log­i­cal daugh­ter.

Abel, who also hails from Dali’s home town, said she was ‘‘re­lieved’’ the mo­ment she has long fought for had fi­nally ar­rived, con­vinced she would be proved right.

‘‘I am very pos­i­tive,’’ she told a press con­fer­ence. I think that it has been long enough.’’

For more than a decade, she has claimed she is the prod­uct of a clan­des­tine love af­fair be­tween her do­mes­tic worker mother and the artist, who was then liv­ing with his wife Gala.

Abel, a for­tune teller who for eight years hosted a tarot-card read­ing show on lo­cal tele­vi­sion, is su­ing the Gala-Sal­vador Dali Foun­da­tion and the Span­ish state, which owns his es­tate, to be recog­nised as his le­gal heir.

In June, a Madrid judge ruled there was no other way to set­tle her claim than to raise the artist from his grave, which was not a sim­ple task.

Dali’s body was in­terred in a self-de­signed rest­ing place: the crypt be­neath the stage at his The­atre-Mu­seum in Figueres, sealed with a 11⁄2-tonne tomb­stone.

Cranes were brought in for the ex­huma­tion, while the crypt was cov­ered with spe­cial sheet­ing to pre­vent drones spy­ing on the op­er­a­tion from over­head.

– Tele­graph Group

PHOTO: REUTERS

People sleep in the street in Kos, Greece, af­ter an earth­quake in the Agean Sea be­tween Greece and Turkey.

Sal­vador Dali

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