BBC News

Salvador Dali: DNA test proves woman is not his daughter

image copyrightAFP/EPA
image captionMs Martínez says she was born in 1956 as a result of an affair between Dalí and her mother

A Spanish woman who believed Salvador Dali was her father is not the surrealist artist's daughter, a DNA test has proved.

María Pilar Abel Martínez, a tarot card reader who was born in 1956, says her mother had an affair with Dalí during the year before her birth.

A judge in Madrid agreed his body could be exhumed for testing in June.

But now the Dali Foundation says the tests carried out have conclusively proved the two are not related.

  • Why experts question artist paternity claim

"The DNA tests show that Pilar Abel is not Dali's daughter," the foundation, which manages his estate, said in a statement on Wednesday, six weeks after the artist's body was exhumed from a crypt in a museum dedicated to his life and work in Figueres, in north-eastern Spain.

Had they been related, Ms Martinez would have had a claim on part of Dali's estate, which he left to the Spanish state following his death in 1989 at the age of 85.

media captionSalvador Dalí's body exhumed in Spain

A number of Dali experts had raised their eyebrows at the claim before his body was exhumed, with biographer Ian Gibson noting the artist's own claim of "I'm impotent, you've got to be impotent to be a great painter".

It is not known how Ms Martinez, who had been told from an early age she was the painter's daughter, has responded to the news.

Salvador Dalí: Life of a surrealist

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionDalí's wife, Gala, died in 1982 - after which he is said to have lost much of his zest for life
  • Born on 11 May 1904 in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain
  • Produced more than 1,500 paintings throughout his career
  • Married Elena Ivanovna Diakonova - or Gala - in 1934; they had no children
  • The couple had an open marriage and regularly held orgies at their house - though Dalí is said to have watched rather than participated
  • Died on 23 January 1989 in Figueres

Related Topics

  • DNA testing
  • Art
  • Spain

More on this story

  • Digging up Dali: Why experts question artist paternity claim