In a statement published Tuesday, the provincial court of A Coruña, northwest Spain, said Franco’s family were entitled to keep precious tables, chairs, crockery, artworks and carpets housed at the Pazo de Meirás, a spectacular manor house once used by the fascist dictator as a summer home.
Valuable items in the house include two statues by medieval sculptor Master Mateo.
The county court in A Coruña previously ruled that the Franco family had to hand over the keys to the house. However, judges from the provincial court said the the ruling only covered property rights over the land on which the house is built, not items contained within it.
This is because the Spanish government did not claim ownership of the items in its initial case, the judges said, although it had the right to do so.
The judges added that the state can claim ownership of items that it considers to be part of Spain’s national heritage in a separate complaint.
On February 12, the provincial court ruled that the Pazo de Meirás itself is the property of the Spanish state, upholding a September 2020 ruling by the county court.
CNN has contacted Spain’s national heritage agency and the National Francisco Franco Foundation for comment.
Spain continues to grapple with the legacy of Franco, who ruled the country from the late 1930s until his death in 1975.
Thousands of executions were carried out by his nationalist regime during the Spanish Civil War and in the years that followed.
In 2007, the Spanish government passed the Law of Historical Memory, which formally condemns the Franco regime and bans political events at the Valley of the Fallen, a huge mausoleum built to commemorate the victims of the civil war, which houses the remains of more than 33,000 people.
The law also recognizes the victims of the civil war and the Francoist state and pledges aid to those victims and their descendants.
In October 2019, Franco’s remains were exhumed from the Valley of the Fallen, which was partially built by political prisoners of his regime. The exhumation was a key policy pledge from Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez when he came to power in 2018.
Franco’s family and his far-right supporters opposed the plan and the family unsuccessfully appealed the decision in the courts. Franco’s remains were moved to the nearby Mingorrubio state cemetery in El Pardo, 12 miles north of Madrid, where his wife is buried.
The Valley of the Fallen has become a draw for tourists and far-right sympathizers who conduct annual rallies on the anniversary of Franco’s death on November 20.