The bronze butt piece from the statue of Saddam Hussein that was torn down after the fall of Baghdad in 2003 is up for sale at a British auction house later this month.
The two feet by two feet metal chunk is owned by British veteran Nigel Spud Ely, who was working with U.S. marines in Iraq when the statue was torn down.
When we arrived in Firdos Square in the heart of Baghdad, the statue had just been toppled and the U.S. 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.'
Ely used a crowbar and a sledgehammer to pry the piece off the statue, according to The Rich Times, and then then smuggled it past border control by saying it was armor.
There has been interest from around the world and I would love it to go to a museum, Ely told UKPA, speaking about the auction. It's still a tactile piece of bronze, albeit it's the backside of Saddam.
It certainly wouldn't look out of place (in a museum) and it would attract a lot of people because of what it is.
Part of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to injured servicemen in the UK and the United States.
It should appeal to military and art collectors alike, not to mention anyone who has an interest in the major events that have helped shape the world we live in, commented auctioneer Charles Hanson on the BBC. Both the wider story of the Iraq conflict itself and the sub-plot of how Spud came to possess the piece only add to its appeal, its importance and its provenance.