Spain to transform ‘Valley of the Fallen’ Franco monument into civilian cemetery

A general view of the Valle de los Caidos (The Valley of the Fallen), a mausoleum in San Lorenzo de El Escorial
FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Valle de los Caidos (The Valley of the Fallen) mausoleum in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain, October 13, 2019. REUTERS/Javier Barbancho

September 17, 2020

MADRID (Reuters) – The Spanish government intends to transform the Franco-era monument known as “The Valley of the Fallen” into a cemetery to hold the remains of people killed on both sides of the Spanish Civil War, Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said on Tuesday.

“The more than 30,000 victims of both sides will have peace and respect from all there,” Calvo told a news conference.

The initiative is part of a draft bill proposed by the left-wing coalition government, and dubbed “Democratic Memory Law”, which would be submitted to parliament in a few months.

The bill, which was partly unveiled by Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez last week, will also finance the unearthing of mass graves where victims of the civil war and the Franco dictatorship were buried and will prevent publicly funded institutions from glorifying the dictatorship.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro, Belen Carreno and Emma Pinedo, editing by Andrei Khalip and Timothy Heritage)