Remains of King Zog repatriated from France to Albania

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
The exhumation was accompanied by full military honours

The remains of King Zog, Albania's former monarch, have arrived in Albania after being repatriated from France more than 50 years after his death.

They arrived in the international airport of the Albanian capital, Tirana, where they were greeted by family members and officials.

The remains were exhumed at Thiais cemetery south of Paris on Tuesday.

Critics accuse Albania's government of seeking to make political capital out of the former king.

His remains are due to be placed in a newly built mausoleum for the royal family this weekend.

Albania is currently celebrating the centenary of its independence from the Ottoman Empire.

King Zog, whose original name was Ahmet Muhtar Bej Zogolli, proclaimed himself monarch in 1928 but fled in 1939 as Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's Fascist troops invaded Albania.

In exile, he lived for years in England, then Egypt, before settling in France where he died in 1961.

His only son, Crown Prince Leka, died last year after failing in his efforts to restore the monarchy in Albania.

His grandson, Prince Leka, currently serves as a political adviser to Albanian President Bujar Faik Nishani.

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