30 Nov 2011

Removal of Franco's remains recommended

1:11 pm on 30 November 2011

A commission set up by the Spanish government has recommended that the remains of General Francisco Franco should be exhumed and removed from their resting-place.

The dictator's tomb is inside a Catholic basilica, at a civil war memorial, near Madrid, which has become a symbol for the dictatorship

General Franco ruled Spain between 1936 and his death in 1975. The commission said his remains should be handed over to his family for reburial.

The Valley of the Fallen contains the remains of 34,000 people from both sides killed in Spain's 1936-1939 civil war.

It features a 150 metre cross that can be seen from miles around.

The report says General Franco's remains should be removed because he did not die in the war. It argues that removing his remains will transform the significance of the site, making it a place of remembrance for the victims of Spain's brutal civil war.

The general died of natural causes at the age of 82. The BBC reports his family has previously said they would be opposed to his body being removed from the Valley of the Fallen.