Franco's remains to be exhumed and reburied on October 24

Spanish government says moving late dictator's remains from memorial site to family crypt will be carried out with "respect"

A man sporting a Franco flag on his t shirt (by Reuters)
A man sporting a Franco flag on his t shirt (by Reuters) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 21, 2019 11:35 AM

The exhumation of the remains of the late dictator, Francisco Franco, will take place on Thursday October 24 at 10.30am, the Spanish government has announced.

Franco's remains, which lie in a tomb in the Valley of the Fallen memorial site, will be reburied alongside those of his wife in a family crypt in Madrid's El Pardo cemetery.

The operation to move Franco's remains will be closed to the press, and the authorities say it will be carried out "with respect, in the presence of the family."

Removing the remains from the site meant to commemorate people who died on both sides of the Spanish Civil War was a key election pledge of acting president, Pedro Sánchez.

After years of delays and legal wrangles, a recent ruling by the Supreme Court removed the final legal hurdle to the exhumation and opened the way to reburying Franco's remains. 

"The government has argued from the start of the process that the dictator's remains could not stay in a public mausoleum that exalts him, something expressly forbidden by the historical memory law," said the Spanish executive in a statement.

Some 34,000 people are buried in the Valley of the Fallen memorial site. However, as Franco is also buried there, the site is often associated with his repressive regime.