dimanche 8 avril 2012

Spain: Digging Franco in the name of reconciliation?

On 10 October 2011, the Catalan daily El Periódico de Catalunya, has revealed part of the report of the committee of 12 historians and jurists, appointed by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in May 2011 to study the future of Valle de Los Caldos (Valley of the fallen), a huge underground basilica designed to honor the dead of the fascist victory in the Spanish Civil War.
         Here are buried the dictator Francisco Franco y Bahamonde (1892-1975) and 33.872 soldiers buried anonymously in ossuaries, victims of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).
         Centre left of the newspaper reveals that the proposals would be to move the remains of Franco Civil Cemetery of the Spanish capital, Madrid, where his wife rests María del Carmen Polo y Martínez-Valdés (1900 -1988). The proposal is supported by a part of the family.
         The Spanish government proposes to move his body near his former home of El Pardo, near Madrid. But the family is opposed dictator under the Act of Reconciliation which plans to eliminate the symbols of the fascist regime.

Monumental and national heritage of Spain.

         The Catalan daily believes that the valley-a monumental architectural masterpiece designed by Pedro Muguruza and Diego Méndez-could become "a monument to reconciliation inviting," and to "rehabilitate the memory of the victims" as required by the "Law of Historical Memory", passed December 26, 2007.
         Unfortunately this proposal is not part of the conclusions of the report of the Committee of Experts made public after the parliamentary elections of 20 November 2007.
         El Periodico de Catalunya wondered "If Mariano Rajoy Brey (Prime Minister since December 21, 2011) will respect the decision of a commission formed by the Socialist government, which raises an issue as controversial as the exhumation of the dictator," said the last Daily.

A crypt basilica consecrated by Pope John XXIII.

         The tomb of the Caudillo, Abadía of Santa Cruz del Valle de Los Caídos, in the valley of Cuelgamuros (Sierra de Guadarrama) on the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial in the Autonomous Community of Madrid is still being used as a sanctuary to his supporters nostalgic who come in crowds (450,000 visitors a year) attend commemorative masses and lay wreaths on his grave.
         The Basilica (262 meters underground) surmounted by the stone cross, the highest in the world with its 150 meters high was consecrated by Pope John XXIII April 7, 1960.
         A recommendation from the Council of Europe in March 2006, condemning "with firmness the widespread and serious violations of human rights committed in Spain by the Franco regime from 1939 to 1975,"
demand that is put in place a permanent exhibition and teaching of Francoism.
         It recalls the suffering of prisoners under the Republicans and, in particular, "explaining how the Basilica was built by Republican prisoners of all volunteers, however"

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