Surreal parentage - Remains of artist Dalí to be exhumed today

The artist's body is being exhumed so a paternity test can be carried out

Surreal parentage - Remains of artist Dalí to be exhumed today

Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dalí photographed near his home outside Costa Brava, Spain, 17-09-1968. Image: Horst Ossinger/DPA/PA Images

The remains of surrealist painter Salvador Dalí are being exhumed this morning so that a paternity test can be carried out.

A Spanish TV fortune-teller claims she was conceived during an affair her mother had with the artist in 1955, while working as a family employee.

Maria Pilar Abel Martinez has been fighting to have Dalí recognised as her father since 2007, according to Spanish newspaper El País.

The painter was married to his Russian muse Gala at the time of the alleged affair.

Speaking ahead of the exhumation she said she is determined to discover the truth of her parentage.

“First of all my identity,” she said. “I want to know who I am; to know the truth.”

“The rest will come.”

A Madrid judge made the order to have Dali's remains DNA tested last month - despite opposition from the Dalí Foundation - which looks after the artist’s estate.

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí died in 1989 at the age of 84.

He was one of the most famous artists of the 20th Century – renowned for his melting clock masterpiece “The Persistence of Memory” and a host of others including “The Elephants” and “The Temptation of St. Anthony.”

He also turned his hands to filmmaking, sculpture and advertising.

The Temptation of St. Anthony by Salvador Dalí

Famously eccentric, he was known his outrageous behaviour - and art collector Aiden Meller believes today’s exhumation would be right up his street:

“He would love it, he would think it was hilarious,” he said before warning, “I think it is going to have massive ramifications if it is true – financially.”

“Honestly it is like he is actually still alive and he is setting it all up.”

Dalí is buried among his art works in the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueres, north-western Catalonia.