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Monday, 10 October 2011

Spain may exhume Franco

 

Spain may exhume the remains of dictator Francisco Franco from his huge mausoleum near Madrid and move them to a cemetery, the daily Periodico de Catalunya reported on Monday. The proposal is being considered by a commission of experts which the government has tasked with proposing how to deal with the Valley of the Fallen, Franco's monumental burial place in San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The mausoleum is seen as being contrary to the 2007 Law of Historic Memory on the 1939-75 Franco era. Franco took power following the 1936-39 civil war in which his troops defeated those of the leftist republican government. The law stipulated recognition of the wrongs suffered by Franco's victims, including measures such as removing Francoist monuments and assistance to associations reopening mass graves. One of the last issues to be dealt with is the Valley of the Fallen, which was built by republican prisoners. The mausoleum holds the remains of more than 30 000 people, including those of hundreds of republicans, whose bones were brought there to increase the number of people buried at the site. The commission comprising historians and legal experts is mulling ways to turn the mausoleum into “a monument of reconciliation.” The commission is now considering the possibility of removing Franco's remains from the basilica of the Valley of the Fallen and transferring them to El Pardo cemetery in Madrid, Periodico de Catalunya reported. This might be accepted by the Franco family, because he would then lie next to his wife Carmen Polo, according to the report. The basilica also houses the remains of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, the founder of Franco's Falangist party. They would not be removed from the Valley of the Fallen, because he was executed by the republicans during the war and is therefore considered a war victim.

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