Conflict & Justice

Saddam's "bronze buttock" up for auction


Iraqis watch a statue of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein falling in Baghdad's al-Fardous (paradise) square 09 April 2003.



A piece of the statue of Saddam Hussein that was famously brought down in Baghdad in 2003 is going up for auction, the BBC reports. And not just any piece. A "2ft (0.6m) wide bronze 'buttock'" as the BBC puts it.

Nigel Ely, a former British Special Air Service soldier, acquired the buttock on 2003 while working as part of television crew covering the fall of Baghdad.

"When we arrived in Firdos Square in the heart of Baghdad, the statue had just been toppled and the US Marines had erected a cordon of tanks to guard the square," Ely told the BBC. "But I wanted a piece of the statue — and when I mentioned to the marines that I was an old soldier and with the press they told me, 'No problem, buddy — help yourself'."

More from GlobalPost: My first day without Saddam

Ely broke off a piece using a sledgehammer and crowbar. It will be auctioned off by Hansons Auctioneers, and Ely says the money will go to charity.

According to AFP, Ely had to pay $606 in excess baggage fees when he flew back to Britain with his big bronze memento.

Auctioneer Charles Hanson told the Associated Press the item is an "iconic piece of history."

"The exotic part of the bottom makes it all the more interesting," Hanson said.

The sale will take place October 27.