Franco Took Decades to Leave the World Stage. His Statue? Only Days.

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tags: Spain, Francisco Franco, Barcelona



The offending statue was pelted with eggs. It was splashed with paint. It was variously decorated with Catalan separatist flags, a blowup doll and a pig’s head. Finally, vandals knocked it over late last Thursday, forcing the authorities to remove its broken remains early the next day.

Gen. Francisco Franco may have ruled Spain for almost four decades, but an equestrian statue of the dictator — headless from an earlier act of vandalism — that went up at a Barcelona cultural center recently lasted just a few days.

The furious reaction to the piece, part of a contentious exhibition about Franco’s legacy that opened on Oct. 17, shows Spain’s continuing struggle with how to confront its dictatorial past. That is especially true here, at ground zero of the secessionist movement that is pushing for the region of Catalonia to break away from the rest of Spain.




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