In 2018, Eduardo Tenreiro used red paint to drew a dove and write "For Freedom" above the headstone of the genocide who ruled Spain between 1939 and 1975.
Spanish sculptor Eduardo Tenreiro faces up to two years in prison for having made graffiti on the tomb of the dictator Francisco Franco, which is located in the basilica of the Valley of the Fallen in Madrid.
In Oct. 2018, Tenreiro used red paint to drew a dove and write "For Freedom" above the headstone of the genocide who ruled Spain between 1939 and 1975. A photographer who accompanied him posted his performance in social networks. Almost immediately, Tenreiro was detained by security personnel and arrested by the Civil Guard.
The Spanish Prosecutor's Office requested a year in prison for a crime against freedom of conscience, arguing that his performance occurred when a Catholic mass was about to begin. If convicted, Tenreiro will also have to pay about US$940 in damages. The rebel sculptor also faces a private accusation set by the “Association for the Defense of the Valley of the Fallen,” which requests over two years in prison accusing him of having “desecrated” a tomb.
Tenreiro argued, however, he used washable paint to execute an artistic creation in favor of the "reconciliation and freedom" of the Spanish. Before and after his statement in the trial on Friday, the sculptor has assured he is willing to go to jail. Judges postponed the issuance of a sentence.
Besides trying to "shake consciences", he wanted to denounce the presence of the dictator's mausoleum in the Valley of the Fallen, a 30,000-square- meter monument that was built under Franco's orders to honor those who died in his "crusade" against socialist, anarchist, and communist fighters.
"The thousands of workers who built the Valley of the Fallen with their hands were a mixture of free hired laborers and political prisoners who were forced to work there," outlet La Vanguardia recalled, adding that its construction lasted 19 years.
In this mausoleum, which has become a symbol of the Spanish far-right, Franco remained from his death in November 1975 until his exhumation in October 2019. In the area covered by this "historical" monument there are several mass graves into which thousands of people who opposed his rule during civil war (1936-1939) were thrown.