Salvador Dali moustache 'still intact' after exhumation

Famed surrealist artist's body uncovered in ordered to take paternity test

Salvador Dali
Salvador Dali in London in 1959
(Image credit: Reg Burkett / Getty)

Surrealist Spanish painter Salvador Dali was exhumed for a paternity test last night, and embalmers have revealed that his trademark moustache was still intact.

Dali's lengthy, angular moustache became a symbol of his personal image during his rise to fame, and has stayed "like clock hands pointing at 10 to 10".

Dali was known for his surrealist paintings, perhaps the most celebrated of which is The Persistence of Memory, featuring a number of melting clock faces, which would become a defining feature of much of the painter's work.

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Embalmer Narcis Bardalet, who supervised the exhumation, said he had been "delighted" to see the surrealist's trademark facial hair still in place almost 30 years after his death in 1989, says The Guardian.

"His moustache is still intact, [like clock hands at] 10 past 10, just as he liked it. It's a miracle," he told the Catalan radio station RAC1. "His face was covered with a silk handkerchief. When it was removed, I was delighted to see his moustache was intact. I was quite moved. You could also see his hair."

Dali was exhumed in order to carry out a paternity test, after a controversial Spanish court ruled in favour of a woman who claims to be his daughter. Maria Pilar Abel, a 61-year-old Spanish woman, says her mother was a maid in one of Dali's seasonal homes in Port Lligat, and "maintained a clandestine relationship with the artist", writes CNN.

Samples of DNA were taken from Dali's teeth and hair, and results are expected within two weeks.

Abel's claims have been met with scepticism. The Salvador Dali Foundation attempted to appeal the ruling, but were forced to allow the exhumation. And in the words of the artist himself: "Great geniuses produce mediocre children, and I don't want to go through that experience."

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