September 18, 2017, SPAIN, A court hearing, probably in Madrid, will begin the process of determining whether tarot-reader Pilar Abel is the late Salvador Dali’s daughter and the heir to a significant portion of his estate. The findings on the DNA following Dali’s exhumation might not end the case.
Abdel, born in 1956, alleges that she is the offspring of a union between her mother, Antonia, and Dali. Her paternity suit started in 2015 against the Ministry of Finance, as the trustee of Dali’s estate, and the Gala Dali Foundation that was created to administer it. Dali left his estate to the Spanish state upon his death at 84. A court ruling establishing his paternity would give Abdel the right to use Dali as her surname and pursue further legal action to claim her rights over the artist’s work and property. Her portion could amount to 25 per cent of the estate.
Despite opposition from the Gala Dali Foundation, a Spanish judge ordered Dali’s remains to be exhumed so that so that DNA tests could be made. His body was exhumed in July.
The looming complication is that the embalming process on Dali might have altered the DNA information, making any results inconclusive and potentially leading to a challenge from either side of the suit.
ElPais, which reported the story, notes that at the time of the alleged affair, Dali was married to his muse, Gala (Elena Ivanovna Diakonova), who died seven years before the painter. Gala had a daughter from an earlier marriage but the couple had no children of their own.
Citada la supuesta hija de Dalí para extraerle una muestra de ADN (ElPais Jul 2017)