- Title: Spain's Supreme Court to decide on Franco exhumation
- Date: 23rd September 2019
- Summary: MADRID, SPAIN (SEPTEMBER 20, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LAWYER FOR THE FRANCO FAMILY, LUIS FELIPE UTRERA, SAYING: "If the Supreme Court approves the exhumation, the family, complying with the royal decree, have designated the crypt in the Almudena (Cathedral in Madrid) as the place of burial for their grandfather, where we mustn't forget my client's father and mother (Franco's daughter and son-in-law) are buried."
- Embargoed: 7th October 2019 17:19
- Keywords: Franco Spanish dictator Franco exhumation Supreme Court Valley of the Fallen
- Location: SAN LORENZO DE EL ESCORIAL, MADRID AND GUADALAJARA, SPAIN / HENDAYE, FRANCE
- City: SAN LORENZO DE EL ESCORIAL, MADRID AND GUADALAJARA, SPAIN / HENDAYE, FRANCE
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002AXVOXTZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Spanish Supreme Court will rule on Tuesday (September 24) on the exhumation of the remains of former dictator General Francisco Franco from a state mausoleum, after a long dispute between Spanish Socialist Government and his descendants.
The plan to move the remains away from the Valley of the Fallen site, criticised as Europe's only remaining monument to a fascist leader, has divided opinion in a country still conflicted over the dictatorship that ended with Franco's death in 1975.
Speaking on Monday (September 23), ahead of the ruling, the spokesman for the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory, Bonifacio Sanchez, said the process had to "provide Franco's victims with respect."
The order to exhumate Franco has been delayed several times over the past months, while the Government and the family also disagreed on where to reinhumate the former dictator.
The Socialists have long sought to turn the Valley of the Fallen just outside Madrid, marked by a 152-metre (500-foot) cross on a mountainside, into a memorial to victims of the 1936-39 civil war in which about 500,000 combatants and civilians were killed.
Nearly 34,000 dead from both sides of the civil war are buried there, including many who fought for the losing Republican side, whose bodies were transferred to the site during Franco's dictatorship without the permission of families.
Franco's family argue the Government is trying to change history after four decades.
The Government plan was for Franco's remains to be reburied next to his wife in the family tomb at Mingorrubio El Pardo, a state cemetery where various political figures are buried.
But Franco's family said if his remains are removed, he should be reentered at the Almudena Roman Catholic Cathedral in central Madrid, where his daughter is buried.
Fearing it would create a site of pilgrimage for far-right groups, a government report considered last December that the cathedral was unsuitable as a burial place for security reasons.
(Production: Guillermo Martinez, Elena Rodriguez, Catherine Macdonald)
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