DNA test clears doubts on Dalí’s paternity

Pilar Abel, woman claiming to be the artist’s daughter, is not related to Salvador Dalí

ACN | Barcelona

September 7, 2017 03:48 PM

A DNA test proves that Pilar Abel is not Dalí’s daughter. A polemic decision made by a court in Madrid led to the even more polemic exhumation of Salvador Dalí in July this year. The artist’s remains were removed from his crypt, located at the epicenter of the Dalí Theatre-Museum in the north-eastern Catalan town of Figueres. This happened after Pilar Abel, a tarot card reader, filed a suit claiming she was the biological daughter of the painter.

Born in 1956, Abel maintained that her mother and the painter had a secret relationship when her mother was working as a home assistant in Cadaqués for some friends of the Dalí family. The Institute of Toxicology in Madrid now certifies that the pieces of nails, hair, bones and teeth do not match Pilar Abel’s genetic profile. 

The no-paternity comes as no surprise

To the foundation, it came as no surprise that Abel is not the biological daughter of the surrealist artist. Indeed, a communiqué from the Dalí foundation states that “there was no sign of veracity” in the paternity claim.

Exhumation improper and out of proportion

The Foundation Gala-Salvador Dalí, who had originally appealed the decision, qualified the exhumation as “improper and out of proportion.” They further announced that if the results came out negative, which is now the case, they would look into the possibility of taking legal action against both the claimant and the justice administration, for the “damages and the costs incurred.”

At the press conference following the exhumation, the foundation already advanced that they would request the claimant to assume the costs of the procedure. Simultaneously, they also said that they would study to see if a “judicial error” had been committed, which would allow them to file a complaint to the Justice administration. Ultimately, the Foundation Gala-Salvador Dalí says they are happy that the technical verdict “puts an end to an absurd and artificial controversy.”