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Gonzalo de Reparaz’ collection, back in Barcelona after being seized during Francoism

The Catalan Government will guard geographer and journalist Gonzalo de Reparaz Rodríguez-Báez’ legacy, which was seized in 1939 and has been stored at the Spanish Civil War Archives since then. The Catalan Minister for Territory and Sustainability, Josep Rull, thanked Reparaz’s family for trusting the Catalan Government and praised their years of “judicial struggle” to recover the documents, and therefore part of its family’s history. Rull emphasized Reparaz’s contribution “to explaining the Catalan cause to Europe” and his “commitment to freedom and democracy”. Reparaz established himself in Barcelona in 1921 and came into contact with many representatives of Catalonia’s political and cultural life.

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29 May 2017 04:00 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Government will guard geographer and journalist Gonzalo de Reparaz Rodríguez-Báez’ legacy, which was seized in 1939 and has been stored at the Spanish Civil War Archives since then. The Catalan Minister for Territory and Sustainability, Josep Rull, thanked Reparaz’s family for trusting the Catalan Government and praised their years of “judicial struggle” to recover the documents, and therefore part of its family’s history. Rull emphasized Reparaz’s contribution “to explaining the Catalan cause to Europe” and his “commitment to freedom and democracy”. Reparaz established himself in Barcelona in 1921 and came into contact with many representatives of Catalonia’s political and cultural life.


Rull insisted on the Catalan Government’s desire to “build our future on a solid democratic foundation” and complained that the right of a family to get back what had been seized from them had to be celebrated with such a solemn event. According to Rull, recovering Reparaz’s legacy “not only restored the family’s historic memory but also the country’s”. In this vein, he emphasized “the political intensity” of Reparaz’s collection, as well as his commitment to freedom, democracy and Catalonia in a broader sense”.

He thanked Reparaz’s family for entrusting the documents to the Catalan Government and the Catalan Institute of Cartography and Geology, where the collection will be stored. “Citizens will be able to come here and recognize a part of its history which was seized and locked away in the Spanish Civil War Archives, in Salamanca.

A “bittersweet” achievement

Historian Josep Cruanyes, who helped Reparaz’s family in its legal fight to get the documents, admitted he was moved by the achievement but considered it “bittersweet”. “There are many families whose right to recover their memories has been recognized by the Supreme Court but only one has managed to get their documents back,” he lamented. “It is far from over,” he said addressing the Government of the Spanish State. Cruanyes also warned that “the right to recover something which was seized during a dictatorship shouldn’t depend n the subjective criteria of the public administrations”. “I hope that the Catalan Government will never interpret law in this way,” he declared.

A place to pay tribute

Gonzalo de Reparaz Rodríguez-Páez' granddaughter, Maria del Carmen Reparaz, was one of the main forces behind recovering her grandfather’s legacy. “Today we close an unfinished circle in our lives,” she said and added that every time they travel to Barcelona, Reparaz’s family will find in the Catalan Institute of Cartography and Geology a place to pay homage to her family’s memory.

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  • One of the books written by Gonzalo de Reparaz, now at the Catalan Institute of Cartography and Geology (by ACN)

  • One of the books written by Gonzalo de Reparaz, now at the Catalan Institute of Cartography and Geology (by ACN)