Amid shouts of “The pazo belongs to the people, Francoism never again”, to the sound of bagpipes and tambourines, some 600 people gathered this Saturday at the gates of the property of Meirás (Sada) that Franco and his family occupied for 82 years. It was a civic event, with festive airs, before the closed gates after the Government’s refusal to allow this demonstration, called by associations for historical memory, to be held in the gardens of the mansion. These will formally open to the public next weekend. The Executive, in possession since December 2020 of the keys to the property after the historic sentence that puts it in the hands of the State, wants to star in the start of the visits, postponed several times due to the restrictions of the pandemic.
Josefa, Carlos, Emilio, Tania … The citizens who managed to recover Meirás from Franco’s plunder
This morning criticism intensified for the Government’s refusal to allow the civic movement, key in the recovery of space, to celebrate its small party in the gardens and had to demonstrate abroad, as it had been doing these years. “It is a real shame that we have closed doors,” cried actress Isabel Risco. Dressed in multiple necklaces, she starred alongside the actor Fernando Morán in a humorous parody of the Franco couple claiming their property and railing about the claim that the people want to take it away from them.
The event did not abandon the festive and playful atmosphere, and after taking a short tour of the rural parish of Meirás, the banners and scenography on the esplanade at the entrance to the pazo also put the accent on vindicating the memory of people killed by the Franco regime in the region of A Coruña, as well as in claiming from the public powers that they prevent the exit of the goods that the Franks house in the pazo.
Given the legal mess that at this time has allowed to paralyze the plans for moving and emptying the property that the grandchildren of the dictator were going to carry out, the 68 entities that joined the act this Saturday urge the Xunta to declare the assets without further delay de Meirás of cultural interest. “It is intolerable that you have to pay for what was stolen, many of those goods were already in the pazo when Franco entered in 1938, or they were gifts to the Head of State or they were plundered from the Galician heritage,” recalled Carlos Babío, spokesman for the Galician Initiative. pola memoria (IGM), organizer of this call under the motto “El Pazo para la memoria”. Babío, one of the most prominent people in the civic movement who mobilized 13 years ago for the recovery of Meirás, did not spare the government reproaches for not having authorized “the use of the pazo as a space for democratic normality.”
And it is that the uses of the property have yet to be defined, the return of which to the public patrimony depends on an appeal in the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the restoration works are progressing to allow the opening of the mansion with all the security guarantees. The ones that are ready for public enjoyment are the gardens. The Sada City Council, which this morning was in charge of the logistics of the demonstration, has everything ready to start the visits to the public next weekend, which will be made with prior reservation.