The “King of the Gypsies” has been laid to rest in a ceremony befitting his status.
Florin Cioaba who died of heart attack last sunday at the age of 58 while vacationing in Turkey was a member of the family that has led the embattled minority in Romania since the 19th century.
He was an activist who pushed for Roma rights and championed education for impoverished children after seeing his own 12-year-old daughter storm out of a church to avoid an arranged marriage.
Thousands turned out to remember him at his funeral on Friday. A banner emblazoned with his crowned face was draped across an apartment building in his Transylvanian hometown of Sibiu. Stonemasons have been carving his tomb in black marble for the last week.
Mourners carried his coffin — partially lidded with glass and air-conditioned — along a seven-kilometer (four-mile) route through the city.