Spain court allows exhumation of bodies at Franco mausoleum

Built by Franco's regime between 1940 and 1958 in the granite mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama, the Valley of the Fallen holds the remains of over 30,000 dead from both sides in Spain's civil warA Spanish court has for the first time authorised the exhumation of bodies from the Valley of the Fallen, a vast mausoleum where dictator Francisco Franco is buried along with thousands of victims of Spain’s civil war, according to a ruling published Monday. The court in El Escorial near Madrid, where the mausoleum is located, was ruling on a request from Maria Purificacion Lapena, granddaughter of a man executed by Franco’s forces. In September 2015, Lapena asked the court to order the exhumation of the body of her grandfather, Manuel Lapena Altabas, and great-uncle Antonio Lapena Altabas so that they could be given a proper funeral.

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