Removal of Franco statue sparks legal controversy

June 18, 2012

The Supreme Court in Madrid has denied an appeal from the Fundación Francisco Franco to relocate a statue of Franco on horseback to its original location in the La Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz. The statue was removed from the plaza in 2005 by the Ministry of Development. According to, the Ministry of Development did not follow the correct legal procedure for removing the statue in 2005, having neglected to inform the statue’s proprietor, the University of Madrid. Although the Court has ruled that the actions of the Ministry of Development were illegal, it also acknowledges that the relocating of the statue is blocked by the Law of Historical Memory, which orders the withdrawal of any paraphernalia expressing military uprising or dictatorship from the Spanish Civil War. The Law of Historical Memory was passed in 2007. This current issue raises questions regarding censorship, freedom of expression, and provocation. It is still unclear how it will resolve.


One Response to “ Removal of Franco statue sparks legal controversy ”

  1. Francesco Ferran on September 11, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Although it is crucial that Spain makes it clear that Franco is not a figure to be celebrated or honored this action does limit free speech. As a citizen of a democratic country one should have the right to protection of property regardless of what it portrays. This is a complicated matter in that the University should have been expected to take down the statue, yet the government should not have the right to force its removal.