Saddam statue
The Saddam statue falls in 2003, just before a British soldier pried off its butt. What cheek! Image: Amir Farshad Ebrahimi/Flickr/CC BY-SA

The buttocks from the famously-toppled statue of Saddam Hussein will be going up for auction in the UK. A former British soldier, present in Baghdad at the time the statue fell, saved it as a souvenir of the event.

Sledgehammer and crowbar

Nigel “Spud” Ely, a former British Special Air Service soldier who was covering the 2003 event for the media, used a sledgehammer and crowbar to pry the approximately two-foot-wide rump off of the statue after it was toppled on live television. He now hopes that the bronze butt of the despot will fetch some big money for charity.

Ely, now 52, told the BBC

“The US Marines had erected a cordon of tanks to guard the square, 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.’”

Ely said he only intended to take a pocket-sized piece, but wound up with a large cheeky chunk. He remembered asking himself at the time, “What the hell am I going to do with this?”

‘Truck armor’

“I threw it in the back of my truck and forgot about it until we tried to re-enter Kuwait, where the Kuwaiti army arrested us and searched us for plunder,” Ely related.

He was allowed to keep the dictator’s derriere only after he told them that it was armor for a truck. He did, however, have to pay an extra $606 excess baggage fee to fly it back to his native England.

Piece of modern history

Ely has entrusted the sale of the tyrant’s tush to Hansons Auctioneers in Derby, England, where it is being billed as a “piece of modern history.” The gavel falls on the oppressor’s posterior on October 27, when it is expected to fetch at least $15,755.

“It should appeal to military and art collectors alike,” said auctioneer Charles Hanson. “Not to mention anyone who has an interest in the major events that have helped shape the world we live in.”

Cheeks for charity

According to the AP, Ely plans to donate proceeds from the assassin’s posterior to a charity for injured servicemen.

Sources

New York Post: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/saddam_bronze_buttock_up_for_auction_kNv9lYf2YO1jBDXzEA60nJ
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/13/saddam-husseins-buttock-auction_n_1008914.html
BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-15272578

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