Franco Exhumation Halted in Spain After Appeal from Fascist Dictator's Family


Spain’s Supreme Court has halted the exhumation of the remains of former dictator General Francisco Franco. Franco’s remains were planned to be dug up on 10 June, but the Supreme Court has unanimously decided to suspend the operation, pending the result of an appeal by the family of the dictator. 

The plan was to move Franco’s remains from the Valley of the Fallen, the state mausoleum where he has buried since 1975, to Madrid’s El Pardo cemetery, where he would be buried next to his wife. Franco’s family appealed against the decision, with seven grandchildren speaking of “irreparable damage” if the exhumation went ahead.

The issue has divided public opinion since Spain’s socialist government, led by Pedro Sanchez, announced the decision in March 2019. The Socialists have long sought to turn the Valley of the Fallen, seen by many as a monument to fascism, into a memorial to the victims of the 1936-39 Spanish civil war in which about half a million civilians and fighters lost their lives. Hundreds still nostalgic for the Franco era have even staged protests at the Valley of the Fallen, despite a 2007 ban on public events supporting the old regime.

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The Independent