Spain Has Removed the Last Public Statue of Dictator Franco

Strangely enough, everyone can still remember who the brutal dictator was.
February 24, 2021, 11:51am
Spain Has Removed the Last Statue of Dictator Franco on Public Display
Photo: Óscar Giménez/Europa Press via Getty Images

The only remaining statue of former dictator Francisco Franco left on public display in Spain has been removed.

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Workers in the Spanish enclave of Melilla took down the statue from the city’s gates on Tuesday.

Speaking after the city’s assembly voted to remove the statue, Gloria Rojas, the vice president of Melilla, one of two Spanish enclaves in mainland Africa, said the city had “as of today, recovered its dignity and justice”.

The statue of Franco – which was removed from a plinth with a drill, before being winched away and wrapped in bubble wrap – was installed in Melilla in 1978, three years after the dictator died.

Franco’s dictatorship lasted almost 40 years, a period marked by brutal repression and thousands of deaths.

He had seized power in Spain after his leadership of the nationalists during the country’s civil war between 1936 and 1939, when hundreds of thousands of people died or were wounded.

Photo: Óscar Giménez/Europa Press via Getty Images

Photo: Óscar Giménez/Europa Press via Getty Images

The statue in Melilla was removed under a law passed in 2007 that called for the removal of all symbols to Franco’s regime.

Only the far-right Vox party in Melilla objected to the statue being taken down, arguing that it commemorated Franco’s military victory in a colonial war, and not his dictatorship.