Salvador Dali's exhumation: Even his iconic mustache survived

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(Architectural Digest) It's a case that's stranger than fiction: Celebrated surrealist Salvador Dalí's body is set to be exhumed from its crypt in Spain this evening.

"There is no evidence that claimant Pilar Abel Martinez's claim has any legal basis, as the only grounds provided constitute a notarial statement from a woman who claims to be a friend of the mother, stating that the latter told her that her daughter's father was Salvador Dali", the Foundation said.

Pilar Abel, a 61-year-old who long worked as a psychic in Catalonia, says her mother had a relationship with the artist when she worked in Cadaques, a picturesque port where the painter lived for years.

Almost three decades after his death, the Spanish painter's body, mummified after an embalming process, is "in good condition", said Marta Felip, mayor of Figueres, who was present at the late-night exhumation in the Catalonian City's Dali Theater and Museum.

Dali, who died in 1989, is buried beneath a 1.5-ton slab under the dome of the Dali Theater Museum in Figueres, Spain.

Regional Catalan officials previously told the AP that experts planned to remove four teeth, some nails and the marrow of a long bone, if the corpse's condition allowed it.

Ten years ago she performed a DNA test in Madrid using hair and skin fragments that she obtained from one of the painter's mask, but the results were not conclusive.

Abel says a desire to honor her mother's memory, and not money, were motivating her paternity lawsuit.

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Undertakers take a casket inside the Teatre-Museu Dali (Theatre-Museum Dali) after the arrival of forensic examiners for the exhumation of Salvador Dali's remains in Figueras on July 20, 2017.

The court litigation began in 2015, as Ms. Abel sued the Ministry of France, the trustee of Dali's Estate, as well as the Gala Dali Foundation, which administers this former.

If she is proved right, she could assume part of the Dalí's estate, now owned by the Spanish state.

Dali, known for his pencil-thin mustache and eclectic persona, is acclaimed for surreal paintings with equally eclectic features, like melting clocks.

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

Dali died in 1989 at the age of 85.

Dali and his Russian wife Gala - whose birth name was Elena Ivanovna Diakonova - had no children of their own, although Gala had a daughter from an earlier marriage to French poet Paul Eluard.

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