Heirs Ordered to Open Franco's Palace

Spain still coming to terms with repressive past
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2009 6:56 AM CST
One of the last statues of Gen. Francisco Franco is removed from a park in Santander. In another move, Franco's heirs have been ordered to open his summer palace to the public.   (AP Photo/Juan Manuel Serrano)
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(Newser) – The heirs of Spain's late dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco, have been ordered to open Franco's summer palace in Galicia to the public. The move is the latest in a series of belated attempts by the Spanish to begin to come to terms with decades of repressive dictatorship that followed the savage Spanish Civil War, reports the Guardian.

The sprawling estate was given to Franco by the city of La Coruna, but it was paid for by taxes and "donations" forced on the citizenry. "In reality, it was plunder dressed up as a purchase," says a Galician writer in El País. The palace must be open to the public only four days a month. One official who believes the government should confiscate the palace called the order only a "partial victory."