Removal of Franco-era monuments in Madrid sparks controversy and challenge from regional government

Monument to right-wing deputy José Calvo Sotelo, killed by Republicans, slated for removal. Photo: Luis Sevillano / El País
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• Monuments honor military, civilians & politicians killed by Republicans •

A precipitous move by the Culture Secretary of the municipality of Madrid to take down monuments glorifying heroes of the Franco era prior to agreed-upon deliberation by the city council has sparked controversy and a direct confrontation with the regional government of Madrid, controlled by the conservative Popular Party (PP).

Despite an agreement by the Madrid municipal council in December for development of a four-month plan to deal with removal of the monuments in compliance with Spain’s 2007 Law of Historic Memory, on Friday city work crews began removing some of the monuments at the behest of the Culture Secretary Celia Mayer, a councilor belonging to the Ahora Madrid movement of mayor Manuela Carmena.

The first monument to be removed — and since replaced — was a plaque commemorating eight Catholic Carmelite priests executed by a Republican firing squad in 1936, while city workers confronted by local residents had to abandon removal of a separate obelisk honoring Nationalist army officers killed in battle during the Spanish Civil War.

► Read the Full Story in Spanish at Público and El País …

► Read the Full Story in English at El País …

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