A team of forensics experts Thursday opened the tomb of famed Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali to take DNA samples to settle a paternity suit.
In a spectacle that most likely would have pleased the eccentric Dali, a crowd stood outside the Dali Theater-Museum in Figueras, Spain, to watch the experts file in.
The undertaker who embalmed Dali’s body when he died in 1989 told Reuters it would be easy to get a tooth or bone sample because the body would be “in relatively good condition.”
The sample will be sent to Madrid, where it will be analyzed for a match with the DNA in a saliva sample provided by Maria Pilar Abel, 61.
Abel alleges her mother and Dali had an affair in the fishing village where he lived and that it was no secret among the villagers.
The Dali estate is worth about $460 million. But Abel has said she’s not interested in money and only wants to be recognized as Dali’s daughter.
Dali is the world’s most renowned surrealist painter. His picture of melting watches, The Persistence of Memory, is an icon of surrealism.
Dali was was also known for his long, pencil-thin mustache that curled on each end. He delighted in painting mustaches on the upper lips of those he met.