Plan to put Franco remains in Madrid cathedral protested

MADRID (AP) — Hundreds of protesters in Madrid are urging Spanish government and Catholic church authorities to prevent the remains of 20th-century dictator Francisco Franco from ending up in the city’s cathedral.

Spain’s center-left government has promised to exhume the general’s body from a glorifying mausoleum he had built.

Franco’s heirs have proposed reinterring the remains in a family crypt below Almudena Cathedral, a move that would thwart the government’s purpose for digging them up.

Protesters on Thursday marched from a square in the Spanish capital to the cathedral crypt. They held signs with photos of Franco and Adolf Hitler and shouted, “Franco, criminal, out of the cathedral.”

The government says it can remove Franco’s remains from the Valley of the Fallen, but can’t legally stop his heirs from reburying them in a church.