The remains of Salvador Dali exhumed 28 years after his death

Image Salvador Dali's tombstone

Forensic experts made the discovery after his embalmed body was exhumed for DNA testing.

Forensic experts said Dali's whiskers remained in the "classic shape of ten past ten", referring to the positions of hands on a clock.

After the gates of the premises closed Thursday, a 1.5-ton stone slab was removed to open the crypt where Dali was interred 27 years ago.

Dali died aged 84 in 1989 and was buried in the Dali Museum Theatre in his birthplace, Figueres.

Abel, who claims to be the result of a liaison her mother had with Dalí in 1955, has been trying to prove Dali was her dad for 10 years.

Martinez is believed to have brought the claim because of her hard financial situation and she likely hopes to get part of Dali's estate.

A Spanish judge ordered the exhumation of Dalí's body to enable samples to be taken from his teeth and bones to settle the paternity claim once and for all.

She says her mother was employed in Dali's household in the mid-1950s and the two had a secret love affair. There are no current estimates of the value of that fortune.

Among the skeptics is Joan Vehi, who started working as a carpenter for Dali and his wife, Gala, but with the time became a close friend of the couple and one of the painter's personal photographers.

The Salvador Dali Foundation, which manages the late artist's estate, tried unsuccessfully to fight off the exhumation with a court appeal.

Lluis Penuelas Reixach, secretary general of the Dali Foundation, said the exhumation was "a moving moment for (Badalet) and for us".

If Abel is confirmed as Dali's only child, she could be entitled to a slice of at least 25 percent of the huge fortune and heritage of one of the most celebrated and prolific painters of the 20th century, the woman's lawyer Enrique Blanquez said.

The Salvador Dali Foundation which manages the estate says it was worth almost 400 million euros ($460 million) at the end of 2016.

"I am amazed and very happy because justice may be delivered", she said at the time, adding that a desire to honor her mother's memory was motivating her paternity lawsuit.

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

The samples need to travel to a legal medicine lab in Madrid for analysis, which could take weeks, officials said. Before work in the crypt began on Thursday, mobile phones were put in a deposit and a marquee was installed under the museum's glass dome to prevent any photography or video from drones.

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