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Exhibition to mark 50 years since the Gibraltar border was closed

Deputy chief minister Dr Joseph Garcia at the press conference.
Deputy chief minister Dr Joseph Garcia at the press conference. / SUR
  • General Franco closed the frontier in 1969 and it did not reopen for 13 years, when Spain was about to join the EC

On 8 June 1969 the Spanish authorities closed the border with Gibraltar, beginning years of hardship and separated families which finally came to an end when the frontier was reopened to pedestrians at the end of 1982, and fully in 1985, as a condition of Spain joining what was then the EC. To mark the 50th anniversary, the Gibraltar National Archives and the Office of the Deputy Chief Minister have organised an exhibition which will take place from Tuesday 4 to Friday 14 June. The exhibition has been divided into eight different sections, including the events leading up to the closure from 1950 to 1969.

There will be over two hundred panels on display, as well as 350 numbered, titled and captioned images of various types. These include photographs, postcards, propaganda cartoons, the local press, Spanish and South American press and the British and international press.

The aim is to provide the public with a real flavour of the intensity of the political situation at the time.

There will also be video presentations, oral testimony from people who lived through the closure, a compilation of recordings produced by prominent Gibraltarian broadcaster the late Mr Manolo Mascarenhas and international coverage, showing Spanish workers leaving Gibraltar for the last time, the lengthy queues to exit Gibraltar and other material of interest.

Deputy chief minister Dr Joseph Garcia will be inaugurating the exhibition on Monday, a day before it opens to the public.