SANTIAGO de Compostela officials have demanded the return of invaluable statues kept at Franco’s summer house after claims they were stolen.
Created by Master Mateo in 1168, the artworks were intended for the Portico of Glory – a UNESCO heritage site and key destination for thousands who embark annually on the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.
But now the 800-year-old sculptures depicting biblical figures Isaac and Abraham are in the hands of Pristina SL, a real estate agency belonging to Francisco Franco, the grandson of the dictator.
A Madrid court has given the Franco family until November 19 to prove their ownership of their statues despite defending lawyers admitting they have none.
Santiago de Compostela officials have also demanded answers as to why the ‘tax address’ of the artworks is the same as where Franco’s wife lived in Madrid, when they are being stored in Franco’s summer home in Pazo de Meiras in A Coruna.
On July 25 1954 both statues stood at the entrance of the Ayuntamiento in Santiago but mysteriously disappeared after Franco and his wife visited to attend the city’s festival, according to local media.
The trial is set to begin this month.