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The Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen) near Madrid has been controversial for almost its whole existence, not least for being the burial place of dictator Francisco Franco. Earlier this month, the Spanish government announced it had finally managed to agree to exhume and move his remains, but now a new situation has arisen.

A national group of bodies focused on historical memory has now asked the Central Electoral Commission to close the valley during the upcoming elections. This follows the commission ordering the removal of yellow ribbons from public buildings during the campaigns. The group, FEFFM, also calls for the removal or covering of Francoist symbols for the same period.

In their filing, they ask the Commission "to take the necessary measures, and with maximum urgency, to proceed to the immediate removal of monuments, symbols, commemorative plaques, road names, Francoist symbols on buildings and public spaces, dedicated to rememberinghonouring or commemorating events or people linked to the dictatorship which kidnapped national sovereignty for more than 40 years". If that should prove technically complicated, they suggest they be covered over instead. They also ask for the Valle to be closed "until after the holding of the European, municipal and autonomous community elections on 26th May".

 

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