MADRID – A lawyer says a Spanish judge has ordered the first ever exhumation of bodies among tens of thousands of civil war victims at the Valley of the Fallen memorial site that also serves as dictator Gen. Francisco Franco's mausoleum.
Lawyer Eduardo Ranz told Europa Press Television on Monday that the judge ruled the remains of two brothers opposed to Franco and shot by a firing squad must be found and delivered to relatives.
The site holds the bones of nearly 34,000 people from both sides in the 1936-1939 war.
It is Spanish right-wingers' most potent and beloved symbol of the Franco era, a place they insist shouldn't be disturbed.
The site features a 150-meter (490-foot) stone cross visible far from its location about 45 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of Madrid.