Exhumation of Dali's remains finds his moustache still intact

The remains of Spanish legend Salvador Dali will be exhumed today

"The biological specimens have been taken from Salvador Dali's remains", Catalonia's High Court of Justice said in a statement around 11:50 pm (2150 GMT).

Technicians need to install a pulley system on scaffolding in order to lift a 1.5-ton stone slab that covers the crypt where painter's embalmed body was interred 27 years ago.

According to judicial authorities, only five people - a judge, three coroners and an assistant - were allowed to oversee the removal of the samples out of respect for the remains and in order to avoid any contamination.

Moustachioed Dali, whose dream-like paintings and eccentric lifestyle made him one of the 20th century's most famous artists, died in 1989, aged 84.

If Ms Abel is proven right, she may have claim to some parts of Dali's estate, now owned by the Spanish state, but the results of the tests may take weeks to come through.

At that time, Salvador Dali was also married to his muse Gala, whose real name was Elena Ivanovna Diakonova.

Abel was born in Figueres in 1956, meaning the affair would have occurred when Dali was 51 and her mother, 25.

They collected samples of DNA from the hair and teeth of the embalmed body, Abel's lawyer says.

If her allegations turn out to be true, she would be the only daughter of the famous 20th-century painter, and that would give her a chance to claim a quarter of his huge fortune, estimated at almost 400 million euros ($460 million) at the end of 2016, according to the Salvador Dali Foundation. There are no current estimates of the value of that fortune.

The day before Dali's exhumation, Ms Abel said she was feeling "very positive". Abel said a desire to honor her mother's memory was motivating her paternity lawsuit.

The entire estate, which includes properties and hundreds of paintings, was estimated to be worth almost €400m (£358m) at the end of 2016.

Ms Abel's court litigation started in 2015 when she sued the Ministry of Finance, as the trustee of Dali's estate, and the Gala Dali Foundation that was created to administer it.

It is well-known that the woman, who works as a tarot card reader, has been claiming since 2007 that she is Dali's child.

NBC News reported that the Dali Museums and Foundation oppose the exhumation.

The results of the DNA test aren't expected for at least a month. Before work in the crypt began on Thursday, mobile phones were put in a deposit and the museum's glass dome was covered to prevent drone photography or videos.

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