Last Statue Of General Franco Removed In Spain
Spain has finally removed the last remaining statue of the late dictator General Franco.
The last remaining homage to the dictator to exist in public was in the Spanish city enclave of Melilla, located on the northwest coast of Africa, bordering Morocco.
It was moved after a local council meeting voted in favour of removing the statue, and the operation to take it down took place the following day, the 23rd of February.
The 23rd February also coincided with the commemoration in Madrid of the 40th anniversary of the attempted coup by disgruntled Spanish officers.
Francisco Franco Bahamonde, who came to power after winning the Spanish Civil war ( 1936 -1939), ruled over Spain for 36 years until his death in 1975.
His rule is commonly referred to as the period of Francoist dictatorship and has a controversial legacy marked both by brutal repression with thousands of killings and also of later economic prosperity.
In 2007 the then Socialist PSOE government passed the Historical Memory Law that ordered the removal of all Francoist symbols from public buildings and spaces.
In 2019 the present government of Pedro Sanchez exhumed his body from the Valley of The Fallen near El Escorial to a family plot in El Pardo.
This removal took place just 24 hours after it was voted on, with the right-wing party PP abstaining from the vote and the only vote against the removal from the other far-right party Vox.
Opposition to the move was centred on that the statue was in recognition for Franco´s role in the the Riff War against Moroccan guerillas in the 1920s and not his role as later Caudillo of Spain.
Footage shows builders working to remove the large statue of Franco dressed in a legionary field suit with a baton in one hand and binoculars in the other.
The operation lasted an hour and attracted many local onlookers.
The Mayor-President of Melilla, Eduardo de Castro Gonzalez, told the local press that the statue will be kept in “some municipal warehouses”, although there is no further information as to whether there are plans to use it in a museum, as have been done with some others in Spain.