ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - The body of artist Salvador Dali, whose art is showcased in a museum in St. Petersburg, may be exhumed.
A judge in Spain ruled a DNA sample must be taken from the famed surrealist to determine if he fathered a child with a mistress.
A judge in Spain agreed with plaintiff Maria Martinez, that the only way to find out if Salvador Dali is her biological father, is to exhume his body from its Spanish burial site.
"It is something that we hope to learn about, and learn from," said Salvador Dali museum curator Peter Tush. "We are somewhat caught off guard, but we are prepared to go wherever it takes us."
Martinez says her mother was a maid working near Dali's home in 1955, and that she was born in 1956, the same year, he painted "Living Still Life."
Curator Peter Tush says it would be hard to read it as any sign of what was going on in his private life at the time.
Dali was never known to have children.
If there is any opportunity to understand Dali better, and to appreciate the artwork better, that's ultimately the most important thing for us at the museum," said Tush.
The exhumation of Dali is already being appealed by the managers of his estate in Spain.
If Dali is found to be Martinez' father, she could try to win access to part of the estate, which is likely worth tens of millions.
Dali died in 1989.
The museum in St. Pete gets about 400,000 visitors a year.