The controversial monument in Palma’s Plaça de Sa Feixina in memory of the sinking of the battleship Baleares has undergone a complete renovation.
The heavy cruiser Baleares (photo centre) was engaged during the Spanish Guerra Civil by the Franco forces when it was hit in March, 1938, by two or three Republican torpedoes, sinking with the loss of 786 lives. Luckily, there were also 435 survivors who were rescued by the two English battleships, HMS Kempenfelt and HMS Boreas.
The monument was inaugurated in 1947 by Francisco Franco (see photo bottom) but, sparked controversy in recent years due to its fascist inscriptions and the use of Franquist heraldics. In the light of the new Spanish Ley de Memoria Histórica (Law of Historic Memory, 2007) it is now no longer legal to display insignia, street names or other references glamourising the atrocities of the time of the Civil War, of Franco or of his followers.
The monument was left intact, complete with its water basin and fountains but, was stripped of any inscription and the coat of arms of the Franco regime. Instead, a metal band was erected by the pool of water with the following text in five languages (Catalan, Castellano, French, English and German):
This monument was built in 1948 in memory of the victims of the sinking of the cruiser Baleares during the Civil War (1936-1939). Today it is a symbol of the city of the democratic will to never forget the horrors of war and dictatorship. Palma 2010
I think the result of the renovation is praiseworthy. The monument is now a lot less offensive than it has been for the last 60 years. Well done.
The photo (top) was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: December 25th, 2010. The time was 08:31:19. The photo (centre) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of fideus.com. The image (bottom) was also borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of crucerobaleares.es.