Postcard from... Granada


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Around 140,000 people executed during the Spanish Civil War and afterwards remain buried and unidentified in mass graves in ravines and roadsides across rural Spain. But the poet Federico Garcia Lorca, killed in 1936 somewhere on a lonely hillside east of Granada, is  the best-known.

Later this month, the latest attempt will get under way to locate the mass grave where he may have been buried alongside hundreds of others executed as opponents of General Franco’s regime.

The 10-day excavation will cover a 300-square-metre area between the villages of Viznar and Alfacar. Two potential graves have already been located there, in an area once earmarked in 1998 for a football field. (The project was only blocked when Lorca’s sister, then in her 80s, sent a letter of complaint.)

The budget of €15,000 from the regional government perhaps sounds meagre and no one has forgotten that previous, widely publicised, attempts to find Lorca and others killed in the area have failed completely.

So it is perhaps no surprise that the local authorities are playing down their chances of success, saying they are simply looking for war victims in general. But if Lorca is found, it will be quite an event.