UK soldier sells Saddam Hussein's buttocks
Nigel Ely, 53, a former paratrooper who served in the 1990-91 Gulf War, was in Baghdad's Firdous Square, the day after the incident where the statue was "surrounded by tanks". He asked marines guarding the statue if he could take a piece of it, planning to sell it for several million dollars.
He hoped to sell the fragment to raise money for military charities and groups, including Birmingham's Royal Centre for Defence Medicine which treats wounded soldiers. But the buttocks from Saddam Hussein failed to meet its reserve of £250,000 ($380, 000) at a Derby auction.
Mr. Ely says that the Iraqi government tries to stall his attempt to sell the relic. According to Section 8 of the Iraqi Sanctions Order 2003 the piece of the statue was "part of their historical and cultural heritage” and must be returned. The man was questioned on suspicion of breaching the law, but later the police said no charges would be brought against him, as there are doubts about the piece of statue's "authenticity".
The former SAS man said he hoped he could reach "a deal" with Iraqi authorities so the artwork could be sold to raise money for charity.
Mr. Ely believes the piece is "extremely valuable" and said an art expert at an Islamic Art Fair he recently attended in Kuwait suggested it could even be worth millions of dollars.
Saddam Hussein, who had governed over Iraq from July 1979 until April 2003, was captured and hanged in 2006 after being found hiding in a hole.
Voice of Russia, BBC, the Daily Mail