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Team searches for remains of Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca

The archaeological dig near Granada begins at a mass unmarked grave from the era of Spain's 1936-39 civil war.

October 29, 2009|Associated Press

ALFACAR, SPAIN — Forensic experts Wednesday began exhuming a mass unmarked grave that could hold the remains of the acclaimed poet Federico Garcia Lorca, in a milestone in Spain's drive to address the legacy of its 1936-39 civil war.

Under a tent-like structure, the team started its work by staking out and cleaning surface soil at the site in southern Spain in preparation for digging in earnest, said Sara Gil, an archaeologist who is a member of the team.

It is not clear if the writer's remains will ever be identified, however, because his family opposes the exhumation. The goal of the digging is to find and identify the remains of several men who, like Garcia Lorca, were executed in the opening days of the war.

The work is being done on a remote hillside near the city of Granada, not far from where the men were killed by members of a militia loyal to Gen. Francisco Franco.

The war, which still divides Spaniards, pitted Franco-led rightist forces that rose up against an elected leftist Republican government and eventually prevailed, installing a dictatorship that lasted until Franco's death in November 1975.

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