In Adoring Kosovo, Clinton Gets Statue

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 1, 2009 12:41 PM CST
Ethnic Albanians watch from their terraces behind the covered statue of former US President Bill Clinton before his arrival in Pristina, Kosovo, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009.   (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
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(Newser) – Thousands of ethnic Albanians braved low temperatures and a cold wind in Kosovo's capital Pristina to welcome former President Bill Clinton today as he attended the unveiling of an 11-foot statue of himself on a key boulevard that also bears his name. Clinton is celebrated as a hero by Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority for launching NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999 that stopped the brutal Serb forces' crackdown on independence-seeking ethnic Albanians.

To thunderous applause Clinton waved to the crowd as the red cover was pulled off from the statue. "I never expected that anywhere, someone would make such a big statue of me," Clinton said of the gold-sprayed statue weighing a ton. The statue portrays Clinton with his left arm raised and holding a portfolio bearing his name and the date when NATO started bombing Yugoslavia, on March. 24, 1999.