For the right price, a bronze buttock of the toppled Saddam Hussein statue from Baghdad’s Firdos Square could be yours.
Sound too good to be true? A piece of the infamous statue is set to be auctioned in Britain at the end of October. A journalist working in Baghdad during the U.S. invasion got permission to remove the buttock from the toppled statute, using a hammer and crowbar, the AFP reports. Nigel Ely said U.S Marines had blocked off access to the statue, but when Ely asked for a piece of the statute, they said “No problem, buddy — help yourself.”
“I only wanted a piece big enough to put in my pocket, but I ended up with a chunk about two foot square,” Ely said “I thought, ‘What the hell am I going to do with this?’”
Ely reportedly paid about $600 in baggage fees to fly the piece back to Britain — chump change considering one auctioneer estimated the piece could sell for more than $15,000.
The statue itself is, of course, a symbol of controversy from the Iraq War. Before the statue was toppled, a U.S. Marine draped an American flag over the statue. An Iraqi flag was later placed over it. And some have alleged that the celebration of its toppling was exaggerated or even staged.
And you thought all this was behind us.
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David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com