Statue of Albanian national hero Skanderbeg inaugurated in Budapest
The bust gifted by Tirana to Budapest was inaugurated by the mayors of the two cities, Erion Veliaj and Gergely Karacsony, near the Vajdahunyad Castle.
Addressing the ceremony, Albanian President Ilir Meta called the inauguration of the 15th century commander’s statue “in the heart of Budapest and Europe” a “historic moment”.
“No historical figure is a greater embodiment of the friendship between our two peoples,” Meta said.
The president thanked Hungary for its support of Albania’s aspirations to join the European Union and for its assistance following the 2019 earthquake and during the coronavirus pandemic. Meta said he was convinced that Hungary and Albania would continue to strengthen their friendship in the future.
In his speech, Karacsony thanked Tirana for the statue, saying that it represented the strong relationship between the two capitals.
Karacsony highlighted water management as a key area of cooperation between Budapest and Tirana, saying Budapest was proud of the developments borne out of the partnership between the two cities’ public water works.
The mayor expressed hope that Albania would soon be able to strengthen its alliance with Hungary as a member of the EU.
Arian Spasse, Albania’s ambassador to Hungary, said the bust symbolised the centuries-long friendship between Albania and Hungary. “Skanderbeg is a hero to every European citizen who believes in freedom,” he said.
The inauguration ceremony was also attended by Hungarian President Janos Ader.
Skanderbeg, also known as George Castriot, formed an alliance with Hungarian strategist and politician Janos Hunyadi in the 15th century to resist the Ottoman Empire’s conquest of the Balkans.