TIRANA, Albania (AP) – The body of Albania’s only post-independence monarch, King Ahmet Zog I, has been returned home more than 50 years after he died in exile in France.
Family members and government authorities welcomed the remains at Tirana International Airport Mother Teresa on Friday.
Zog reigned from 1928 until 1939, when he fled Albania after it was occupied by fascist Italy. Albania’s post-World War II communist regime abolished the monarchy in 1946.
Albania has remained a parliamentary republic since the fall of communism in 1990.
The royal family returned to Albania in 2002, and the current government of Prime Minister Sali Berisha later decided to allow the king’s remains to return for a burial ceremony to be held Saturday.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)