Ferrol - Urban History
Proposal to remove Franco's equestrian statue (1983)

From the first democratic elections held in 1979, and up until 1987, Ferrol was governed by a coalition headed by a mayor from the Socialist Party. His father, Jaime Quintanilla, had been the first socialist mayor of Ferrol during the Second Republic, and was shot during the military revolt of 1936. Sixty years later, the new left-wing city council was not able to handle decisively the question of the memory of the old regime. The local authorities proposed that the additional 'del Caudillo' (in reference to Franco) be removed from the city's name, but they did not dare to remove Franco's equestrian statue due to the strong opposition by part of the population led by naval officers. In 1983 José Luis Vilariño exhibited this photomontage at the 'Ateneo' (cultural centre) in Ferrol: the statue of the dictator sails aloft, lifted by red and blue balloons, the two colours symbolizing the communists and fascists, the two sides at odds during the Civil War.

R. Vilariño: Fotomontaje (1983), Ateneo de Ferrol