The last remaining statue of the dictator Francisco Franco in a public space in Spain it was removed this Tuesday in Melilla, a Spanish city in North Africa.
Melilla was one of the first cities where the 1936 military uprising took place that led to the Spanish Civil War and subsequent dictatorship of General Franco, and the removal of the statue also coincided with the 40th anniversary of the failed 1981 coup in Spain. .
Spain has had the so-called Historical Memory Law since 2007, which was approved by the Socialist Government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero for the moral reparation of those persecuted by the Franco dictatorship and that forces the withdrawal of their symbols and public expressions of support.
The removal of the statue from the public thoroughfare was carried out without prior notice and the work lasted for more than an hour before a strong police deployment and the expectation of some people who found out and went to the area to immortalize the moment with their cameras and cell phones.
Several workers secured the statue with a harness hanging from a crane to remove it from its concrete and brick base, where there was a plaque with a shield of the city, another with the inscription “Melilla, to the commander of the Legion D. Francisco Franco Bahamonde 1921-1977 “and a third with a low relief in which some soldiers appeared.
The mandate of the plenary session of the Melilla Assembly has just been completed, which yesterday supported the Government’s proposal to remove the statue of Franco.
the last one in a public space in Spain. Withdrawal
– Eduardo De Castro (@EdeCastro) February 23, 2021
The sculpture was deposited in a truck for transfer to municipal offices according to the president of the city, Eduardo de Castro, from Ciudadanos (Liberals), who in social networks highlighted the coincidence of the withdrawal with the commemoration of the failed military coup of February 23 1981 in Spain.
“The mandate of the plenary session of the Melilla Assembly has just been fulfilled, which yesterday supported the Government’s proposal to remove the statue of Franco. It was the last one in a public space in Spain. Withdrawn. 40 years after 23F, we comply with the Historical Memory Law, “De Castro tweeted.
The statue was removed a day after the city assembly approved it with the support of the three parties that make up the local government, the Liberals of Ciudadanos, the Socialist Party and the local group Coalición por Melilla, and an unaffiliated deputy. to some formation, while the conservative Popular Party abstained and the far-right Vox voted against.
Franco was head of state from 1939, after the victory of the forces that rebelled against the Republic, until he died in 1975 and in 1978 Spain recovered democracy, which was threatened by the failed coup of 1981.