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Author Milan Kundera has Czech citizenship restored

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FILE – In this June 10, 2009, file photo, Czech-born author living in France Milan Kundera, right, is awarded the Simone and Cino Del Duca Foundation World Prize for his lifetime achievement in Paris, France. On the left is French political historian Helene Carrere d’Encausse. Kundera has regained Czech citizenship after 40 years, daily Pravo writes on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, adding that Czech ambassador Petr Drulak handed the relevant document to him in his Paris apartment on November 28. (Remy Vlachos/CTK via AP)

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PRAGUE (AP) — Milan Kundera, the Czech-born author of “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” has been given back the citizenship of his homeland that he lost 40 years ago.

The Czech ambassador to France, Petr Drulak, told Czech public television he handed Kundera his citizenship certificate last week in his Paris apartment.

It’s a result of Kundera’s meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Babis in Paris last year.

Kundera fled Communist Czechoslovakia and has lived in France since 1975, and it is there that he published his most famous books, including “The Book of Laughter and Forgetting,” “The Art of the Novel” and “Immortality.” His later works, written in French, were not translated into Czech.

The 90-year-old lives in virtual seclusion, only travels to his homeland incognito and never speaks to reporters.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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