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Locals pay for loved beggar's Romania burial

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Locals pay for loved beggar's Romania burial
Romanian beggar Ioan Bandac - Photo: Virkelig Magazine
19:35 CET+01:00
A beggar became so popular in the four years he spent on the streets of Tromsø, northern Norway, that when he died locals raised 100,000 kroner ($16,000) to ship his body back home to Romania for burial.
When Ioan Bandac died of lung cancer just before Christmas, he left a note outlining his one final wish - that he be buried in his home city of Bacau, Romania. 
 
And on Thursday, his body was finally laid to rest in one the city's churchyard,  after a Romanian orthodox service. 
 
"It's fantastic to be here," Bandac's Norwegian girlfriend Helena told state broadcaster NRK. "I did not get that long with Ioan -- just three and a half years." 
 
The money was raised in just two days by the street magazine Virkelig, which Bandac sold at points to make a living during his stay. 
 
Bandac became well known in Norway after Tromsø local Knut Grønvoll decided to lend him his flat for a month while he and his girlfriend travelled to her home country of Venezuala over  Christmas in 2010. 
 
The generous offer made news across Norway, helped in no small way by Bandac's jovial personality. When Grønvoll returned a month later, the flat was cleaner and tidier than ever. 
 
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