Recently, it was announced that Salvador Dalí’s body would be exhumed after having been in the ground for 28 years, in order to be sampled for a paternity test to see if he was the father of Spanish astrologist/tarot card reader María Pilar Abel Martínez; she claims Dalí had an affair with her mother that, well, brought her into existence. (The exhumation was ordered by the Spanish government, as, if Martínez turns out to be Dalí’s daughter, part of his estate would transfer from the Spanish state to her.) The whole 28-year-old-surrealist-corpse thing may have struck you with a series of unwanted Dalí-like images — but it turns out truth may be even more, er, quintessential than the fiction in your head.
The exhumation, as the BBC reports, was performed by the same man who embalmed Dalí 28 years ago — a certain Narcis Bardalet. He said told the news organization:
When I took off the silk handkerchief, I was very emotional. I was eager to see him and I was absolutely stunned. It was like a miracle… his moustache appeared at 10 past 10 exactly and his hair was intact.
As the New York Times reports, he also told the Catalan radio station RAC1 that “Salvador Dalí is forever.” And the secretary general of the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, Lluís Peñuelas, also called the mustache-revelation a “very emotional moment.”
However, the Foundation itself had originally tried to appeal the exhumation, worrying that it was making for “an uncomfortable situation” for people with emotional attachments to the deceased artist. Today, they released a statement criticizing it as “entirely inappropriate.” Others were even more outwardly condemnatory in their language, with the Mayor of Figueres — home of Dalí’s self-designed museum and grave site — calling the whole thing “grotesque.”