Memory Law 52/2007

On 26 December 2007, the Official State Gazette published Law 52/2007 recognizing and broadening rights, and setting forth measures in favour of those who had suffered violence or persecution during the Civil War and dictatorship. It became known as the “Historical Memory Law”. In the section related to the commemorative monuments and symbols from the Spanish Civil War and dictatorial repression, Article 16 specifically refers to the Valley in the following terms:

1.- The Valley of the Fallen shall be strictly governed by the general regulations applicable to places of worship and public cemeteries;

2.- No place on the site may be used for any act of a political nature or by exhorters of the Civil War or its protagonists or Francoism.

In 2018, to enable the exhumation of Francisco Franco, a further point was added:

3.- In the Valley of the Fallen only the mortal remains of those who died as a result of the Spanish Civil War may be laid to rest, as a place of commemoration, remembrance and tribute to the victims of the conflict.

The Sixth Additional Provision of the Law establishes that “the aims of the foundation managing the Valley of the Fallen shall include the honouring and reinstatement of the memory of all those who died as a result of the 1936-1939 Civil War and the political repression that followed, with a view to deepening the knowledge of this period in history and of constitutional values. It shall also support the aspirations for reconciliation and peaceful coexistence in our society. All of this shall be fully subject to the provisions of Article 16”.

These provisions represent a mandate for actions designed to turn the monument into a place of collective democratic memory, based on reparation, truth and peaceful coexistence.

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