The remains of Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco, will be removed from a luxurious state mausoleum northwest of Madrid on October 24th, the government announced on Monday, October 21st.
The decision to remove the body was made by the country's acting Socialist government in its effort to turn the Valley of the Fallen into a place of national reconciliation. The site had been established on the orders of Franco himself, as a monument to his own Nationalist troops who died in the Spanish Civil War, according to DW.com
The date was announced after Spain's Supreme Court last month overruled a number of objections raised by his family in a bid to halt the removal of his body, AFP has reported. The remains will be taken to a state cemetery 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of the capital, to be relocated next to those of his wife, AFP has reported.
Justice Minister Dolores Delgado was cited in a statement as saying, "The exhumation and reburial (of his remains) will be done in an intimate manner with his family present."
Franco ruled the country with an iron fist following the end of the 1936-39 civil war, and was buried in a basilica carved into a mountain in the Valley of the Fallen, 50 kilometres (30 miles) outside Madrid. Franco died in 1975.
Moving Franco's remains has been a long-standing aim of the Socialist government of Pedro Sanchez, which has said Spain should not "continue to glorify" the dictator. Franco’s hillside mausoleum is decorated by a 150-metre (500-feet) cross and has attracted both foreign tourists and rightwing sympathisers.