Landmark Franco statue taken down in Spain

19th December 2008, Comments 0 comments

The most prominent remaining statue of the late Spanish dictator Francisco Franco has been removed from the city centre of Santander.

SANTANDER – One of the last remaining public statues of the late Spanish dictator Francisco Franco was taken down from the centre of the northern city of Santander on Thursday, 33 years after his death.

The 2.1-metre bronze statue, which depicts the general on horseback in his commander-in-chief uniform, was inaugurated in 1964 and was one of a host of similar statues erected at the time in other Spanish cities.

Santander city hall decided to remove the statue in 2004 as part of plan to redevelopment plan for the central square but it has taken four years for the work to begin.

Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's government passed a law in 2007 which requires that all statues, plaques and other symbols of Franco's dictatorship be removed from public buildings.

The statue in Santander was the most prominent of the handful of statues that had still to be taken down.

In 2005 Madrid authorities removed a similar statue from a square in the Spanish capital in the middle of the night.

The next day, some 700 Franco supporters protested at the site of the dismantled statue while the conservative opposition Popular Party accused them of needlessly reviving the wounds of the past.

[AFP / Expatica]

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