The Generalitat Valenciana has started a crusade to remove Franco’s residues from public space. The Regional Minister for Participation, Transparency, Cooperation and Democratic Quality, Rosa Pérez Garijo, presented this Thursday the catalog of vestiges of the dictatorship in the Valencian territory. “They represent an offense to the victims and represent an attack on the values of democratic coexistence,” the minister remarked. “The objective of this living registry”, adds Pérez Garijo, “is to achieve a territory free of vestiges that still survive more than 40 years after the end of the Franco dictatorship.”
The census, prepared by a Technical Coordination Commission attached to the Ministry, collects a total of 1,042 vestiges of the Civil War and the dictatorship broken down into different categories, of which 575 are pending removal in public spaces. The inventory also includes 604 plates from the National Housing Institute, of which 270 are pending removal.
Of the 542 Valencian municipalities, 281 have answered, of which 91 have vestiges, while 190 do not contain this type of elements. In turn, 261 municipalities have not responded to the request for information made by the Ministry, which means that 48% of Valencian municipalities have not provided information. “These data show that 35.06% of the municipalities of the Valencian Community are free of traces,” said Pérez Garijo.
The list includes vestiges with mentions of the dictator Francisco Franco (also the “Caudillo” or “Generalissimo”), José Antonio primo de Rivera, founder of Falange or key figures of the regime, as well as expressions such as “fallen”, “martyrs of the Crusade “,” Arriba España “and other Francoist terminology. In addition, it also includes acronyms of organizations and institutions of the dictatorship such as the National Trade Union Center, the Spanish Youth Organization or the Traditionalist Spanish Falange and the National Trade Union Offensive Boards.
The catalog alludes to references to the Franco victory and to commemorative dates. In addition, the annex to the criteria for withdrawal, recalls that according to judicial doctrine the crosses of the fallen are “by themselves signs of exaltation of the Franco regime” as they are monuments erected in honor of the dictatorship. Without going any further, the removal of the cross from the Ribalta park in Castellón, which will be donated to the bishopric, has led to an authentic (judicial) crusade by the opposition in the town hall of the capital of La Plana.
Monumental waste, at least those with high artistic or architectural value, will not be destroyed but transferred to museums or interpretation centers “for their interest as historical documents or testimonies.” “It is not necessary to eliminate the symbols of exaltation as long as in the places where they are finally exhibited they are accompanied by explanatory panels or other supports of historical information of their content”, adds the document of criteria for the removal of the vestiges.
Thus, the consistories must carry out a process of photographic documentation, inventory and cataloging of the original state of the monument, which must be guarded in municipal offices, local museums or in historical memory interpretation centers.