The remains of dictator Francisco Franco will be exhumed from his mausoleum to be buried on June 10 in a cemetery north of Madrid, the Spanish government announced on Friday.
“The reburial of the remains of Franco will take place on June 10 in the morning, they will go to the pantheon of Mingorrubio-El Pardo, which belongs to the state,” said Spanish vice president, Carmen Calvo. A lawsuit could, however, delay the burial, or even block it.
As soon as he came to power in June 2018, the socialist prime minister Pedro Sanchez announced that he would remove Franco’s body from the gigantic mausoleum of the Valle de los Caidos (“the valley of the fallen”), 66 km west of Madrid. The removal of the dictator’s remains, if it occurs on the date announced, will end nearly a year of resistance of the descendants of the “Generalissimo”, winner of the civil war of 1936-1939, and the Benedictine monastery which maintains the mausoleum.
The government had to first obtain the support of the Vatican and then rejected the family’s proposal to reintroduce the dictator in the family vault of the Almudena Cathedral, located in the heart of Madrid, next to the Royal Palace. The government feared that the cathedral would become a place of pilgrimage for people nostalgic for the dictatorship that ruled Spain for nearly 40 years.