Former US President George W. Bush was honored by Albania with a statue unveiled in the country last week.
The bronze sculpture stands over 9 feet tall and was adorned with American and Albanian flags during a ceremony in Fushe Kruje on June 7, the day of the former president’s 65th birthday.
Bush visited the tiny village back in 2007, the first American president to visit Albania in post-Soviet times.
A minor controversy erupted during the visit when some alleged a villager swiped a wristwatch off Bush’s arm while the president mixed with a crowd of well-wishers.
ABC News and Reuters quickly debunked the story, citing a White House spokeswoman who said that president had swiftly removed the watch himself and handed it back to a Secret Service agent.
“Fushe Kruje doesn’t get a ton of visitors, so if you go there, ever, you’ll probably get a statue,” sniped New York Magazine.
Albanians credit America with helping to end their post-Cold War isolation, and leading NATO’s 1999 bombing offensive that halted ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians by Serbian troops.
Washington also supported Albania’s bid to join NATO, which was accepted into the military alliance in 2009. The country is now hoping to join the European Union.