Salvador Dalí Doesn't Have a Long-Lost Daughter After All

DNA evidence exhumed from the late surrealist's body reveals what tarot reader Pilar Abel probably didn't see in the cards.

by Emerson Rosenthal
Sep 6 2017, 7:15pm

Photo: Marc Lacroix, via Flickr

After a long and contentious court case that included exhuming the remains of the long-dead Spanish painter Salvador Dalí, the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí—which represents the artist's estate—announced today that DNA evidence disproves Pilar Abel's claim that she was illegitimately sired by the late surrealist.

"[A]fter analysing [sic] the biological samples of Pilar Abel Martínez and those obtained in the exhumation of the remains of Salvador Dalí, [a report from Spain's National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences] concludes that the results obtained 'permits the exclusion of Salvador Dalí as the biological father of María Pilar Abel Martínez,'" reads this morning's statement from the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, who also call the case "an absurd and artificial controversy."

VICE has reached out for a comment from Abel's lawyer, Francesc Bueno Celdrán; while a statement has yet to be issued, it's a blow to the 62-year-old tarot card reader Abel's suit claiming that, as Dalí's daughter, she was entitled to a portion of the artist's estimated estate (The Telegraph estimates it to be worth €300 million).

Although she had long claimed to be the daughter of Dalí—who bore no children with his wife of 48 years, Gala—Abel only filed her suit until March 2015. Her lawyer, Mr. Celdrán, had previously represented Albert Solà, a waiter, in an unsuccessful paternity suit concerning Juan Carlos, the now-abdicated king of Spain.

News surrounding Dalí's disinterment six weeks ago both bewildered and perturbed art fans: Embalmer Narcís Bardalet called it "a miracle" to find Dalí's mustache still intact. To his own credit (and to biographers), Dalí long believed himself to be impotent.