► Gov’t gives 48-hr notice to Franco family, removal to commence Thurs a.m.
► News reports say helicopter to transfer remains to cemetery north of Madrid
The government of acting Spanish President Pedro Sanchez has given the heirs of former dictator Francisco Franco the requisite 48-hour notice of its intention to remove his remains on Thursday from the Valley of the Fallen monument outside Madrid, where Franco was buried with state honours following his death in 1975.
The Guardia Civil sealed off access to the Valley of the Fallen mausoleum complex at the weekend, allowing entrance only to heavy equipment and crews believed to be working on removing the massive stone slab covering the former dictator’s resting place in front of the altar of the Catholic Basilica administered by monks of the Benedictine religious order.
The government has informed the Franco family that the exhumation of the former dictator’s remains will commence at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday and that the family has the right to be present. According to Spanish news reports, for security reasons Franco’s remains will be transferred by Guardia Civil helicopter to the cemetery of Mingorrubio-El Pardo, north of Madrid, where they will be re-interred in a crypt alongside the former dictator’s wife, Carmen Polo.
Other prominent members of the Franco regime are also buried in the Mingorrubio-El Pardo, including former admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, once considered the second-most powerful figure of the Franco regime, who was assassinated by the Basque separatist group ETA in 1973.
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