In 2015, Abel again took to the courts. Her suit, initially reported by El Mundo
and other publications in March of that year, was brought against the Spanish state and the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation. She sought to obtain the results of the DNA test allegedly hidden from her or to have another test carried out. She asked that the artist’s body be exhumed if materials proved insufficient.
Catalonia’s High Court sided with Abel. “The DNA study of the painter’s corpse is necessary due to the lack of other biological or personal remains with which to perform the comparative study,” the ruling stated
. In July, Abel received permission to have Dalí’s body exhumed to obtain samples for a DNA test that would settle the question once and for all.
The exhumation of the embalmed corpse, kept in a crypt in the Figueres museum dedicated to the painter’s life and work, required the removal of a 1.5 ton slab. The process met with strong objections from the foundation, which appealed the court’s ruling, and local authorities, with both parties reportedly claiming that not enough advance notice was given. But the exhuming occurred nonetheless.
For her part, Abel claimed she just wanted “the truth to be known.” Yet the DNA test conclusively disproved her claim.
“This conclusion comes as no surprise to the Foundation, since at no time has there been any evidence of the veracity of an alleged paternity,” said the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation in a statement
. “The Foundation is pleased that this report puts an end to an absurd and artificial controversy.” The statement also noted that the artist’s remains will “shortly be returned.”
Dalí, who died in 1989 with no known children, had only one serious partner: his muse Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, also known as Gala Dalí, who he met in 1929. The pair married in 1934 and remained devoted to one another until her death in 1982.
Many close to the painter also believed the affair to be a hoax because of longtime speculation over Dalí’s sexual orientation, and apparently his impotency. “Dalí always boasted: ‘I’m impotent, you’ve got to be impotent to be a great painter,’” Ian Gibson, the artist’s biographer, told the BBC
Carlos Lozano, a friend of the artist, also reportedly told Gibson, “Dalí was totally unable to have any sexual relations with anybody, not even, probably, with Gala.” Apparently, Lozano claimed, “He hated being touched and when he touched you it was like being clawed by an eagle.”
The unnecessary nature of the contentious drawn-out process notwithstanding, Gibson seemed to think Dalí would have enjoyed the unorthodox and bizarre situation: “It’s a totally Surrealist event. He’d be thrilled, I’m quite sure, by the whole business.”