Thursday, May 19

The gardens of the Pazo de Meirás open for the first time as public property after more than 80 years in the hands of the Franco

After spending 82 years in the hands of the dictator Francisco Franco and his descendants, the Pazo de Meirás is accessible for the first time as public property. At the moment you can only visit the gardens. This Saturday a formal act, headed by the first vice president, Carmen Calvo, declared this new phase inaugurated, although citizens will not be able to enter the green areas until July 1 and the first days will be reserved for memory associations historical.

The court suspends the move of the Meirás pazo until deciding on the resources that question that the Franco can take everything

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Ownership of the property was handed over to the State in a historic ruling last September and the keys changed hands three months later. Inside the building are the assets that the Franks accumulated over the years and on which Justice has to be pronounced again. The administrations involved appealed the decision to allow the dictator’s heirs to remove “things, goods and objects” from the pazo, among which are two statues of Mestre Mateo declared a site of cultural interest (BIC) and the library of Emilia Pardo Bazán. The Xunta began the procedures to give them the same protection, which implies that an authorization from the autonomous administration is necessary to remove them from Galicia. The property itself is declared BIC, which forced the dictator’s family to open it to visitors four days a month.

Pending the final resolutions, the State has decided to reopen the exterior spaces. In the institutional act Calvo was accompanied by representatives of the Xunta -the Minister of Culture, Román Rodríguez- and of the local administrations involved -the mayor of Sada, Benito Portela; the mayor of A Coruña, Inés Rey, and the president of the Provincial Council of A Coruña, Valentín González Formoso-. Representatives of associations of historical memory were waiting for the entourage at the doors of the building. The decision of the central government to prevent a week ago that they took their acts to the gardens of Meirás caused unrest among the groups, who received Calvo asking for “more acts and fewer photos.”

Before signing the general protocol to coordinate the actions of the administrations involved, the first vice president stopped to speak with the group of people who were concentrated and, according to Europa Press, thanked them for their “impulse” and their fight so that the Pazo de Meirás passed into public hands. He defended before them the position that in future uses of the property the victims of the dictatorship should be remembered: “What is involved here is to preserve the true memory of what happened and what this was, the summer residence of a dictator, and on that we have to continue working together. ”

One of the protesters, Manuel Monge -historical representative of the Francoist memorial movement and prisoner-, stressed that the victims of the Franco regime wish to “end everything that remains of the dictatorship”, which includes returning the Meirás pazo and Casa Cornide ( A Coruña), “but also the amnesty law.”