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PostIf Franco is Exhumed, What to Do with the Body? (Paul Preston, UK, 06/13/19 3:48 am)
John E asked how the Spain's Tribunal Supremo (Supreme Court)'s statement justified its decision to suspend the exhumation of Franco.
It might turn out that the TS decision has helped the government of Pedro Sánchez dodge a bullet. The idea of the Valle de los Caídos being a massive mausoleum for the dictator and pilgrimage site for his dwindling band of supporters is infuriating for many Spaniards. There is no equivalent for Hitler or Mussolini.
However, the initial decision immediately raised the question of what to do with the body. Among those with a say in the matter were his family and they finally agreed to the creation of a smaller mausoleum in Madrid. This would be a logistically more convenient site for the die-hards and, in my opinion, a disastrous solution.
My solution, which got a bit of traction on social media, but not taken up by the authorities or the family, was that he should be buried at sea. All of his life he regretted that he had failed to gain entry to the Naval Academy (for budgetary reasons) and had had to join the army. Once in power, he used every opportunity to wear the uniform of Admiral of the Fleet. On his visit to Oliveira Salazar in October 1949, instead of the relatively rapid train journey from Madrid to Lisbon, he travelled to Vigo by car and then went aboard the battlecruiser Miguel de Cervantes and sailed to Lisbon at the head of a flotilla eleven warships.
JE comments: Prime Minister Sánchez may be breathing a sigh of relief, as he can now claim his hands are tied on the Franco tomb controversy. I agree with Paul Preston that even a modest mausoleum in Madrid would be much more of a gathering point for neo-Francoists. Paul, is the matter now considered over, in legal terms?