Navarra protects its historical memory places with fines of up to 150,000 euros | Culture

"Only memory, the memory of what happened, makes it possible become aware of the trauma" With these words, the president of Navarra, Uxue Barkos (Geroa Bai), the approval of the Law of Places of the Historical memory of the community that governs, that today publishes the BOE (and approved the Navarrese Parliament a few weeks ago with the vote in favor of all the parties and the abstention of the PP). It is a pioneering law in Spain and was born to protect the spaces linked to the coup d'état of 1936, the Civil War and the repression during the dictatorship. The regulation requires its protection, dissemination, signage, accessibility and promotion and establishes sanctions of up to 150.00 euros for those who violate it or assault it with vandalism.

Some of the stipulated infractions are the destruction of graves of victims in the lands included in the map that Navarre has made, the damages in spaces or furniture of the places of the memory, the omission of the duty of conservation or the communication of a finding as well as the refusal to collaborate with the Administration and the reiteration in the aggressions. As an instrument of control and publicity, the Register of Places of Historical Memory of Navarre is created, where spaces, buildings or places declared as such will appear.

The law defines as place to protect that space that is of interest as historical heritage of the memory for having developed in it facts of singular relevance, such as graves, places of detention and murder of people who suffered violence and Franco repression and works public built with forced labor of prisoners during the Franco regime.

From terror to peace

The objective of this statutory law is, as pointed out by Barkos, to protect these places of memory, regulate their signaling and conservation, and promote their knowledge, "with the aim of converting those places of terror into spaces of remembrance and transmission of values ​​of peace and coexistence ". This final point is exemplary in the resignification claimed for The Valley of the Fallen, which the Government of Pedro Sanchez is thinking of turning into a cemetery and not a center of interpretation of the Civil War and Francoist repression, as many experts claim .

In this sense, Emilio Silva, founder of the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory, believes that the important thing of this law will be the definition of the resignification of these spaces, especially in the Monument of the Fallen, in Pamplona, in the heat of social debate on what to do with the greatest monument in Spain, after the Valley to the Fallen ones. "I say we should demolish this monument and that of the Fallen of Madrid," says Olga Acelga, granddaughter of the disappeared and former president of the association AFFNA, who has belonged to the technical commission of the law. He believes that this norm is a big step, but it should continue to improve: "I refuse to let Navarra continue paying for a public museum dedicated to Carlism," he tells this newspaper.

More human rights

The president of Navarra clarifies in her writing that forgetfulness and forgetfulness "They are deeply unfair to the victims" of a recent past shaken by the violence of the undemocratic regime. "In contemporary societies, memory has become an indispensable tool when it comes to advancing the construction of a real, just and peaceful coexistence", Add.

Josemi Gastón, director of the Navarre Institute of Memory, said that on February 1, the first meeting of the technical commission will be in charge of executing the recently approved norm. "It is an exemplary law because it places the places of memory in protagonists. Its protection and dissemination is central to contribute to a culture of peace. We understand places of memory, also, those spaces that associations have become a place of transmission, such as the Alto del Perdón. There were many murders there. They are spaces built by families in memory of what happened, "says Gastón, for whom the law will allow the resignification of all spaces.

"Spaces of terror can become spaces that help a more just and ethical society. All spaces can be transformed by reviewing the critical memory, to convert them into a transmission of values ​​respectful of Human Rights, "adds the head of memory in Navarra. As a former professor, he explains that the fundamental value of this law - the fruit of political consensus and civil society - is that it becomes a disseminator of memory for new generations.

A model law

It will be the community that will guarantee the conservation, maintenance and rehabilitation and protection of the same "through budgetary allocations designated for this purpose". The owners of the land or properties inscribed in the list of places of memory will have to allow the public visit at least four days a month, in days and hours previously indicated. In addition, they will be protected against the danger of urban development. Among the measures for the dissemination and diffusion of the places, the signaling for each milestone stands out, a digital map of public access where the places and activities of disclosure are located geographically.

"It's a model law," says Paco Ferrándiz, CSIC anthropologist and specialist in the field. "It is a conceptually very advanced standard. Draws attention to the sanctioning regime so detailed for non-compliance and vandalism, "he adds to the other side of the phone. It indicates that it is important to regulate so that there is coherence and consistency, especially now that, in all likelihood, recovery and conservation projects in Andalusia are canceled, with the arrival at Government of PP and Citizens, with the support of Vox.

"It is very important that the graves are highly marked so they do not disappear," says Emilio Silva to reverse the concealment of Francoist crimes, because "in Navarre there was no war, but savage political cleansing". "This type of law should serve to repair ignorance," adds the Navarrese historian.


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