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Paternity suit filed against Salvador Dalí

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Paternity suit filed against Salvador Dalí
Photo: AFP
11:18 CET+01:00
Spain's former King Juan Carlos might have just got out of a paternity suit, but another Spanish icon is now facing a paternity challenge, 26 years after he died.

A woman has filed a paternity suit against the heirs of Spanish surrealist painter, Salvador Dalí, requesting her DNA be tested to see if she is a match with the iconic Spaniard, who died in 1989.

The woman, known as María Pilar A. has filed the suit with judges in Madrid, reported Catalan daily, La Vanguardia, on Thursday.

She filed the suit against the Spanish state - specifically the tax office and public administration - as well as the Dalí Foundation, which acts as Dalí's official estate.

María Pilar, who is asking for Dalí to be recognized as her father and his name be added to the civil registry, says she was born on February 1st 1956 after a friendship between the surrealist painter and her mother, Antonia, turned into a secret romance.

Dali had by this time been married to his muse, Gala, since 1934. The couple also married before the Catholic church in 1958, requiring special dispensation from the Pope because Gala had been married before.

María Pilar A. claims her mother met the painter in Port Lliget, the small fishing village where Dali lived. His home in the village was converted into a museum after his death.

María Pilar’s mother spoke of her parentage in the presence of several people, including a caregiver, who is named in the suit.

After that she made contact with Dalí’s biographer and personal representative and agreed to a DNA test. She sent him a sample, along with a "death mask that contained traces of Dali’s hair and skin", but never received the results of the DNA test.

Her lawyer, Francesc Bueno, has asked the judge to send a request for the DNA results, or else that the Institute of Legal Medicine check the relationship between the supposed daughter and Dalí. 

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