The last major Franco monument is removed from Barcelona

The Mayor of Barcelona calls the removal of the Franco sculpture 'an act of democratic normality'


January 31, 2011 10:31 PM

Barcelona (ACN) .- The Mayor of Barcelona Jordi Hereu has said that the removal of a sculpture in Barcelona that represented the Franco era is an act of ‘democratic normality’. The monument that was put in place to commemorate the victory of the Spanish dictator’s troops during the Civil War could be found at the crossroads between Avinguda Diagonal and Passeig de Gràcia until last Sunday.

This weekend, the Mayor explained how the City Council removed the monument in compliance with the Historial Memory Law. He insisted that locals in Barcelona had absolutely ‘no proud memory to take from this victory’ and therefore needed no such monument to reflect it. At the event on Sunday, about 50 people were seen shouting ‘long live the Republic’.

The four foot high sculpture that was made out of bronze will now be kept at the History Museum of Barcelona. It took technicians from the Barcelona City Council almost an hour to remove the statue that was in place back in 1939 in a very central part of the city after the victory of Franco’s troops. It replaced a previous monument crafted by Josep Viladomat that had been dedicated to the Republic. It was put in place back in 1990 in the Plaça Llucmajor, also in Barcelona. Now, there is just one single obelisk in the area, which pays tribute to the President of the First Spanish Republic, Francisco Pi i Maragall.

'A great day for the city'

The councillor of Social Action and Citizenship of the City of Barcelona, Ricard Gomà (ICV-EUiA) called the event ‘a great day for the city’and expressed his relieve for withdrawing the last great monument of Franco from Barcelona. Gomà was keen to thank the 'steady work' of ecosocialists for the pursual of the initiative.

The coordinator of the political party, Isabel Ribes, said that her group, which lead the removal of the sculpture, had fought long and hard for 'the disappearance of any Franco symbols that remind people about the worst forty years of recent history’. None of the local authorities clarified whether the statue would be replaced with another monument, but all agreed that if it is, it would be done so with the participation and consensus of all the citizens of Barcelona.