Salvador Dali’s Coffin Was Opened for DNA Paternity Testing Today

(FIGUERES, Spain) — A court spokeswoman says that forensic experts have opened Salvador Dali’s coffin to obtain DNA samples that could help settle a paternity lawsuit.

The coffin was opened half an hour after it was lifted from the crypt where Dali’s remains have been for the past 27 years, the official with the court administration in northeastern Spain’s Catalonia said in an emailed statement. She made the comments anonymously in line with internal rules.

 Story image for DNA from TIME

A committee of judges, corners and technicians immediately started working to obtain biological samples that could shed light on whether a 61-year-old tarot card reader, Pilar Abel, is, as she claims, Dali’s daughter.

Only five people are handling this part of the process, the official said, in order to reduce the risk of contaminating the DNA samples.

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