28 Years After Death, Dali's Mustache Still Intact

His body was exhumed Thursday
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2017 2:45 AM CDT
Updated Jul 21, 2017 5:00 AM CDT
Salvador Dali's Teeth, Nails Removed From Grave
Pilar Abel poses for a photograph after a news conference in Madrid last week.   (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

It wasn't in the same league of surreal as melting clocks or burning giraffes, but Salvador Dali had the unusual experience Thursday of undergoing a four-hour operation 28 years after his death. The painter's body was exhumed from its resting place in the Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain, to settle a paternity case brought by 61-year-old tarot card reader Maria Pilar Abel Martinez, the BBC reports. She claims she is the result of an affair her mother, a maid, had with Dali in the 1950s, making her entitled to part of his estate as his only child. Officials say hair, nails, and two long bones were removed from the artist after a stone slab was removed to give forensic scientists access.

Abel's lawyer says test results are expected in two weeks, CNN reports. During his lifetime, Dali often claimed to be impotent, and the exhumation was a controversial topic of discussion among Dali museum visitors Thursday. "I think the woman has the right to know who her father is," visitor Miguel Naranjo told the AP. "But I think it is surreal that they have to unearth his body after such a long time." Lluis Penuelas Reixach, the secretary general of the Gala Dali Foundation, said Friday that the remains turned out to be well-preserved, with Dali's famous mustache still holding "its classic shape of ten past ten," as in the clock position. (More Salvador Dali stories.)

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