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Madrid government rules out city-centre cathedral as Franco resting place

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Madrid government rules out city-centre cathedral as Franco resting place
People in Madrid protest in October 2018 against the proposed arrival of Franco's remains to the city. Photo: Oscar del Pozo/AFP.
11:45 CET+01:00
The Madrid city government says allowing Franco's remains to come to a city-centre Cathedral, la Almudena, could cause risks to "citizen security and public order."

Such a move, as desired by the family of the late former dictator and Spanish leader Francisco Franco, would engender risks due to the potential number of visitors the small basilica could attract. 

It would also "pose serious problems vis-a-vis the risk of terrorism," states a press release by the Madrid government.

In September 2018 the Spanish parliament approved a law to exhume Franco's remains from his luxury memorial site some 60 kilometres outside the capital Madrid – the Valley of the Fallen. 

The family's new chosen site, the crypt of the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, could attract hundreds of thousands of visits each year. The Valley of the Fallen, where Franco's remains currently lie, and other memorial sites receive nearly 400,000 visits each year.

READ ALSO: Spanish parliament approves exhumation of General Franco

The Madrid government fears such a central site as the proposed cathedral, where Francisco Franco's daughter is buried, would only attract an even larger number of visitors. This would pose a significant headache for security forces as La Almudena is within a kilometre of major strategic sites in Madrid such as the Royal Palace, argues the communiqué.

Any surge in the number of visitors to the area around Calle Mayor where the cathedral is situated would have a knock on congestion effect on adjacent streets, such as Calle Bailén – according to the Madrid government.

A large influx in visitor numbers could have "security effects" on residents and workers in the area, as well passers-by. 

The authorities also fear that such a symbolic placement of the divisive figure in the Spanish capital could become a place of pilgrimage for violent demonstrators, for and against. 

"The inhumation of the mortal remains of Francisco Franco in the crypt of the Almudena Cathedral would give rise to episodes of conflict, seriously altering the social peace and public order at the full centre of Spain's capital," states the report. 

READ MORE: Digging up Franco: why Spain still can't decide what to do with the dictator's body

 

 

 

 

 

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