Exhumation of Dali's remains finds his moustache still intact

He famously claimed he would never die, so perhaps Salvador Dali might have been amused by the spectacle of being raised from his tomb to settle a claim that he secretly fathered a television fortune teller.

After exhuming Dali's body, legal experts and forensic specialists began collecting samples from the embalmed remains.

Even his charismatic mustache could still to be recognized, with "its classic shape of 10 past 10", said Lluis Penuelas Reixach, the secretary general of the Gala Dali Foundation, referring to the position of the hands of a clock.

According to judicial authorities, only five people -a judge, three coroners and an assistant- were allowed to oversee the removal of the samples out of respect for the remains and in order to avoid any contamination.

Salvador Dali was buried in a crypt in the Dali Theater and Museum, under a 1.5-ton slab, when he died at 84 years old in 1989.

If Ms Abel is proven right, she may have claim to some parts of Dali's estate, now owned by the Spanish state, but the results of the tests may take weeks to come through.

It is well-known that the woman, who works as a tarot card reader, has been claiming since 2007 that she is Dali's child.

Her lawyer says that if her claim is proved valid, she'll be entitled to a quarter share of the estate, including copyright and paintings.

"A day like this arouses in me a great deal of feeling because it reminds me of the day of his death", said Maria Lorca, who was the mayor of Figueras at the time of Dali's death.

The Justice department for the northeastern Spanish region had previously announced plans to extract four teeth, nails and the marrow of a long bone.

Ms. Abel asserts that her mother had an affair with the artist near his home a year before her birth, and her grandmother once told her "I love you a lot, but I know that you're not the daughter of my son". There are no current estimates of the value of that fortune.

Salvador Dali's remains have been resting in a crypt under the stage of the Figueras domed Theatre-Museum.

The Salvador Dali Foundation is expected to provide details of the exhumation about 8am (local time) on Friday.

He said: "I was eager to see him and I was absolutely stunned".

Although a court gave the go-ahead for the exhumation last month, the Dali Foundation opposed the move, calling it "totally uncalled for", as the artist had said he was infertile.

The foundation and the museum of Figueres took steps to make sure no images of the exhumation may emerge in public.

It may take weeks before the results of the DNA tests are known.


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