Spain Exhumes Franco’s Body Over Fascist Protests

The New York Times reports:

The Spanish government on Thursday exhumed the remains of the former dictator Gen. Francisco Franco from the underground basilica that he built after winning his country’s civil war. The move had prompted criticism that, coming just two weeks before a national election, it would reopen old rifts in Spanish society.

Franco’s remains were moved in a coffin from the basilica where he was buried in 1975 and was on its way to a cemetery near Madrid that contains a family crypt where his wife is buried and that is beside El Pardo palace, which Franco used during his rule.

The exhumation followed a yearlong judicial battle between the caretaker Socialist government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and relatives of Franco who had sought to reverse the decision. Mr. Sánchez recently told the UN General Assembly that Spain would take the action because “no enemy of democracy deserves a place of worship or institutional respect.”