People stand around the tomb of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco inside the basilica at the the Valley of the Fallen monument near El Escorial, outside Madrid, Spain, Aug. 24, 2018.
People stand around the tomb of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco inside the basilica at the the Valley of the Fallen monument near El Escorial, outside Madrid, Spain, Aug. 24, 2018.

MADRID - An artist has been arrested after painting a dove in red on Gen. Francisco Franco's tomb, an attack that comes as debate rages in Spain over the exhumation of the country's 20th-century dictator.

Artist Enrique Tenreiro can be seen in a video shared online as he kneels before Franco's tomb in the Valley of the Fallen, draws a dove and writes “for freedom” before security personnel take hold of him.

Police later arrested Tenreiro, according to a statement by Spain's National Heritage department, which manages the glorifying mausoleum where Franco was interred in 1975.

The Spanish government has promised to relocate his remains before next year.

In a statement signed by the artist and emailed by aides, Tenreiro says he wanted to make a statement on behalf of Franco's victims.