23rd May 2024
Spanish artist Enrique Tenreiro defaces Franco tomb
Barcelona News Catalonia News Madrid News Main News

Spanish artist defaces Franco tomb

A Spanish artist, Enrique Terneiro, painted a red dove and the slogan ‘For Freedom‘ on Francisco Franco’s tomb on Wednesday, at the vast mausoleum near Madrid where the late dictator is buried.

The incident came amid debate in Spain over where Franco’s embalmed body should be relocated after Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s socialist government carries out its plan to exhume the remains.

ALSO READ: Vatican backs Spain’s search for Franco reburial

In video images broadcast on Spanish TV, a security guard is seen escorting artist Enrique Terneiro away from the grave after he had knelt down and scrawled on it in red ink.

Spanish artist Enrique Tenreiro defaces Franco tomb
Spanish artist Enrique Tenreiro defacing Franco Tomb on 31 October 2018 (Photo via Twitter)

Franco’s remains are buried in an imposing basilica carved into a mountain-face at the sprawling Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen) mausoleum just 50 kilometres (30 miles) outside the Spanish capital.

‘For freedom and the reconciliation of all Spaniards,’ Terneiro can be heard shouting as he is led away from the scene.

Terneiro, a sculptor and video artist, is known for provocative acts, and once rode in a glass elevator sitting on a bidet.

ALSO READ: Spain approves exhumation of Franco

Spain’s National Heritage Agency, which runs the Valley of the Fallen, said the artist ‘had brought the paint into the basilica in a plastic container which cannot be detected by current security systems’.

Terneiro, 49, told daily newspaper El Mundo he painted the red dove on the tomb as a ‘protest action’ for the ‘freedom’ that was ‘stolen’ from his parents’ and grandparents’ generations.

‘It’s my little grain of sand, I hope it alleviates the pain of the losers of the civil war,’ he added.

Red dove on Franco tomb
The red dove painted by Spanish artist Enrique Tenreiro on Franco tomb, with the message ‘For Freedom’ (Photo via Twitter)

A spokeswoman for Spain’s Guardia Civil police force confirmed an investigation was under way.

The Valley of the Fallen holds the remains of more than 30,000 dead from both sides of the 1936-39 civil war triggered by Franco’s rebellion against an elected Republican government.

He went on to rule Spain with an iron fist until his death in 1975.

Sánchez, who came to power in June, wants to move the former dictator’s remains to a more discreet spot where it will be harder for Franco followers to pay homage.

ALSO READ: Sánchez: Franco mausoleum cannot be ‘place of reconciliation’

Lawmakers in September approved a decree authorising the exhumation.

But Franco’s family, which opposes the move, wants to inter his remains in a family crypt at Madrid’s central Almudena Cathedral, next to the royal palace.

ALSO READ (from BBC): Why Franco’s tomb is a headache for Spain’s new government

Recent Posts

Israel recalls ambassador to Spain over Palestine statehood & threatens ‘serious consequences’

News Desk

Spain, Ireland & Norway to recognise Palestinian state on 28 May

News Desk

Spain withdraws ambassador to Argentina ‘definitively’, as Milei refuses to apologise

News Desk

Spain recalls ambassador after Argentina’s Milei calls Sánchez’s wife ‘corrupt’

News Desk

British Embassy: ‘Get the TIE now’ – ahead of EU’s Entry Exit System coming into force

News Desk

Three Spanish tourists killed by gunmen in Afghanistan’s Bamyan province

News Desk

Leave a Comment