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Polanski Picks Up Award 2 Years After Arrest

Polish-born film director Roman Polanski speaks as he picks up the award for his life work at the Film Festival in Zurich, Swzitzerland, Sept.27, 2011

Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski finally received the award he was unable to pick up two years ago because he had been arrested.

An emotional Polanski said it is "better late then never" when he was handed his lifetime-achievement award Tuesday at the Zurich Film Festival.

Swiss police arrested Polanski on an international warrant in 2009 at the Zurich airport, while he was on his way to the festival. He was jailed and later held under house arrest before being freed, successfully fighting U.S. efforts to extradite him.

Polanski is wanted in the United States for his 1977 conviction on charges that he raped a 13-year-old girl in Hollywood. He fled the United States for France on the eve of his sentencing in 1978, afraid the judge would back out of a plea-bargain deal.

The Polish-born Polanski directed such hit films as Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown, and The Pianist.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.