The French ambassador of Spain, Jérôme Bonnafon, was in Valencia on 12th November 2014 to pay homage to the Valencian who liberated Paris from the Nazis.
Amado Granell Mesado, who was born in Burriana, Castellón in 1898, commanded the first troops who entered Paris on the 24th November 1944.
Previously he had joined the Allies who landed in North Africa in 1942 and fought against Rommel in Tunisia until joining General Leclerc’s 2nd Armoured Division, with which he landed in Normandy in August 1944.
After the war, unable to return to Franco’s Spain he opened a restaurant in Paris called ‘Los Amigos’ in 1950, but later went back to his homeland living in Santander, Barcelona and Madrid until he set up the legendary electrical appliance company Radio Colón in the street of the same name in Valencia.
He died in a traffic accident near Sueca in May 1972, without seeing his own country liberated.
Although honoured in France, Spain never recognised his merits, and it was the Instituto Francés of Valencia that took the initiative of commissioning a plaque by the artist Paco Roca to honour him in the patio of its premises in the medieval district of the city.
In the patio and bar/restaurant various photos and cartoons refer to the liberation of Paris and related themes.