Europe

Spain court ruling reopens debate over dictator's tomb site

  • Tourists walk outside of the Spanish former dictator General Francisco Franco's tomb at the Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen), near Madrid, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. A court decision to order the first-ever exhumation of bodies at Spain’s Valley of the Fallen mausoleum where dictator Francisco Franco is buried is re-igniting a debate over whether the memorial site that holds thousands of civil war victims should be disturbed. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

    Tourists walk outside of the Spanish former dictator General Francisco Franco's tomb at the Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen), near Madrid, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. A court decision to order the first-ever exhumation of bodies at Spain’s Valley of the Fallen mausoleum where dictator Francisco Franco is buried is re-igniting a debate over whether the memorial site that holds thousands of civil war victims should be disturbed. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)  (The Associated Press)

  • People walk outside of the Spanish former dictator General Francisco Franco's tomb at the Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen), near Madrid, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. A court decision to order the first-ever exhumation of bodies at Spain's Valley of the Fallen mausoleum where dictator Francisco Franco is buried is re-igniting a debate over whether the memorial site that holds thousands of civil war victims should be disturbed. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

    People walk outside of the Spanish former dictator General Francisco Franco's tomb at the Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen), near Madrid, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. A court decision to order the first-ever exhumation of bodies at Spain's Valley of the Fallen mausoleum where dictator Francisco Franco is buried is re-igniting a debate over whether the memorial site that holds thousands of civil war victims should be disturbed. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)  (The Associated Press)

  • Tourists take a 'selfie' outside of the Spanish former dictator General Francisco Franco's tomb at the Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen), near Madrid, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. A court decision to order the first-ever exhumation of bodies at Spain's Valley of the Fallen mausoleum where dictator Francisco Franco is buried is re-igniting a debate over whether the memorial site that holds thousands of civil war victims should be disturbed. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

    Tourists take a 'selfie' outside of the Spanish former dictator General Francisco Franco's tomb at the Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen), near Madrid, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. A court decision to order the first-ever exhumation of bodies at Spain's Valley of the Fallen mausoleum where dictator Francisco Franco is buried is re-igniting a debate over whether the memorial site that holds thousands of civil war victims should be disturbed. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)  (The Associated Press)

A court decision to order the first-ever exhumation of bodies at Spain's Valley of the Fallen mausoleum where dictator Francisco Franco is buried is re-igniting a debate over whether the memorial site that holds thousands of civil war victims should be disturbed.

In a ruling made public this week, a judge ordered the remains of two brothers who were shot by Franco supporters to be found at the site and delivered to relatives for "proper burial."

The Association for the Recovery of Historic Memory welcomed the news Tuesday and said it would help open the door for other relatives of the 1936-1939 war's disappeared to seek justice.

But an association that wants the politically-divisive mausoleum left alone warned of legal action should the remains of others buried there be disturbed.