GRANDCHILDREN of dictator Francisco Franco have been ordered to return what was once their ancestor’s Summer palace to the state.
A year ago, the Spanish government announced it would join a legal battle initiated by the local authorities in Galicia to reclaim the property.
The mansion, Pazo de Meiras, with 16 acre grounds turrets and crenellated towers, has been in the family since 1938.
A judge has now ruled, however, that the property was not Franco’s personal possession and therefore not his to bequeath.
Franco received the property as a donation due to his position as head of state— not in a personal capacity.
The court has claimed the contract created three years later to formally put the property in Franco’s name was ‘a fiction’.
“It is a property that belongs to all,” said Benito Portela, the mayor of Sada, A Coruña.
In 2018, Franco’s grandchildren listed the property for sale at €8m.