The last public statue in Spain of the former dictator Francisco Franco has been removed from the city gates of Melilla, a Spanish enclave and autonomous city on the north-west African coast. The statue, erected in 1978, three years after Franco’s death, commemorated his role as commander of the Spanish Legion in the Rif war, a conflict fought in the 1920s by Spain and France against the Berber tribes of the Rif mountainous region of Morocco. Only the far-right Vox party voted against the move, arguing that the statue celebrated Franco’s military role and not his dictatorship, so the Historical Memory Law, a 2007 statute calling for the removal of all symbols connected to Franco’s regime, should not apply. The Spanish government has made several high-profile removals off the back of this law, including taking over the former dictator’s summer palace from his heirs.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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