Spain: Supreme Court rules that Franco’s remains can be removed from monument

Spain: Supreme Court rules that Franco's remains can be removed from monument

Francisco Franco

The remains of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco can be removed from his burial place at the centre of a controversial state monument and reburied in a cemetery, the Supreme Court of Spain has ruled.

In a unanimous ruling, judges rejected a legal challenge from Franco’s grandchildren and three organisations including the Francisco Franco National Foundation, Spanish newspaper El País reports.

After his death in 1975, Franco was buried in the “Valley of the Fallen” monument north of Madrid, which also houses the bodies of tens of thousands of fighters killed in the Spanish Civil War in which he took power.

The controversial monument was built with the forced labour of left-wing prisoners and has long been identified with the Francoist regime, but an expert commission established under the landmark Historical Memory Law concluded in 2011 that it could be adapted to serve as a symbol of reconciliation, provided that the late dictator’s body is removed.

In August, the new Spanish government under Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez passed a decree allowing for Franco’s body to be exhumed and reburied in the El Pardo-Mingorrubio cemetery north of Madrid.

The unsuccessful legal challenge sought an order that Franco be allowed to remain at the Valley of the Fallen monument, or be moved to the family crypt in la Almudena cathedral in central Madrid, where his late wife is buried.

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