Spain will remove the remains of dictator Francisco Franco from a grandiose state mausoleum northwest of Madrid on October 24, the government announced on Monday.
The long-awaited date was announced after Spain’s Supreme Court last month overruled a string of objections from his family, who had tried to halt the exhumation.On Thursday, the remains will be relocated to Mingorrubio El Pardo, a state cemetery 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of the capital, and placed next to those of his wife.
“The exhumation and reburial (of his remains) will be done in an intimate manner with his family present,” Justice Minister Dolores Delgado said in a statement.
Franco, who ruled with an iron fist following the end of the 1936-39 civil war, is buried in an imposing basilica carved into a mountain in the Valley of the Fallen, 50 kilometres (30 miles) outside Madrid.
Moving Franco’s remains has been a priority for the Socialist government of Pedro Sanchez, which has said Spain should not “continue to glorify” the dictator, whose hillside mausoleum is topped by a 150-metre (500-feet) cross and has attracted both tourists and rightwing sympathisers.
The move has divided opinion in Spain, which is still conflicted over the dictatorship that ended with Franco’s death in 1975.