The remains of the founder of Spain’s fascist Falange Party will be transported from a majestic basilica, where the body of former dictator Francisco Franco previously rested, to a new tomb on Monday.
The operation follows the passage of legislation intended to address the legacy of the 1936-1939 civil war and the decades of dictatorship that followed.
The Falange party was established by Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera in 1933, and along with the Spanish military and Catholic Church, it served as one of the main cornerstones of Francisco Franco’s cruel government.
Primo de Rivera, who was executed in November 1936 at the outbreak of the war for plotting against the duly elected Republican government, was interred in the Valley of the Fallen basilica, 50 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of Madrid, in 1959.
According to Spanish media sources, his bones would be excavated and moved to Madrid’s San Isidro cemetery.
The basilica is a portion of a massive hillside mausoleum that Franco’s administration constructed following the civil war, in part through the forced labor of 20,000 political prisoners.
Cabinet minister Felix Bolanos said the operation “was another step” in the government’s efforts to strip the mausoleum of its status as a symbol of Francoism and far-right ideology.
“It should not be possible to pay tribute to any person evoking the dictatorship,” he said after the government announced the exhumation on Thursday.
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