After more than 40 years in exile, Milan Kundera, the Czech-born author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, has been given back the citizenship of his homeland.

Petr Drulák, the Czech Republic’s ambassador to France, told public television he visited the 90-year-old author in his Paris apartment last Thursday to hand deliver his citizenship certificate.

“This is a very important symbolic gesture, a symbolic return of the greatest Czech writer in the Czech Republic,” Drulák said, describing the presentation as “a very simple moment, but of great conviviality and human warmth”.