Artist cleared over damages claim filed by Franco foundation

Judge throws out suit against artist Eugenio Merino, who placed replica of dictator in a fridge

Artist Eugenio Merino in his workshop with the Franco sculpture.
Artist Eugenio Merino in his workshop with the Franco sculpture.

Putting General Francisco Franco in a fridge is not a crime. A judge on Wednesday threw out a suit launched by the Franco Foundation against artist Eugenio Merino for damaging the honor of the late dictator.

"We will appeal in the provincial High Court," said Jaime Alonso, the foundation's vice-president, adding: "We expected this ruling but we will go to the Supreme Court if necessary."

The Franco Foundation, which is headed by the general's daughter, Carmen Polo Franco, is seeking 18,000 euros in damages over Merino's sculpture of Franco inside a soda refrigerator. The work, entitled Always Franco, was exhibited at the 2012 Arco art fair in Madrid.

Speaking after the verdict, Merino said he was happy with the outcome: "To be honest I would have liked to have moved on from all of this because the only thing it is doing is giving this organization publicity, which is what they are after. However much you go after Franco, you shouldn't be taken to court over it."

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