CALLOSA DE SEGURA, Spain – A huge cross erected in a southeastern Spanish village in honor of locals who had died in the Spanish Civil War fighting with the fascist factions was demolished early on Monday morning and two people protesting the move were arrested.
The marble cross in Callosa de Segura, a small town in the south of the Mediterranean Valencia region, was built towards the start of dictator Francisco Franco’s regime in the 1940s and had been scheduled for demolition in 2016, as it violated Spain’s Historical Memory Law, which requires that all Francoist symbols be removed from public spaces.
However, a small part of the village’s inhabitants had been taking turns standing guard at the cross for 400 days, leading to three failed attempts at having it dismantled.
Police cleared the area around the cross at dawn and arrested a man and a woman who had refused to go and launched firecrackers at officers.
Some 30 people remained on the periphery of the closed off area and watched the operation throughout the night.
The cross had originally included a plaque honoring Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder of the Spanish Phalanx, but it was taken down in September 2016, leaving only the names of dead fascist soldiers on the memorial.
The local branch of the ruling Popular Party, which was founded by seven former high-ranking officials in the Franco regime, said that a cross with the names of dead soldiers did not violate the Historical Memory Law and therefore it should not be removed.