Iraq Wants Brit To Return Saddam’s Buttock


DERBY, England, Jan. 17 (UPI) — A former British Special Air Service man who took a buttock from a toppled statue of Saddam Hussein was told by the Iraqi government to return the bronze lump.

Nigel “Spud” Ely, 52, who guarded a camera crew filming Iraqis pulling down the giant statue in Baghdad in April 2003, took the 2-foot chunk that formed the former dictator’s backside and brought it back to Britain, The Sun reported.

Now the Iraqis want it back, saying the piece is part of the country’s “cultural antiquity” and threatening possible theft charges if it isn’t returned.

Ely, from Derby, said he turned the buttock into a piece of art, which makes him the legal owner, The Sun said. Police confirmed they were investigating the matter because of the disputed ownership.

Last year, he tried unsuccessfully to auction it to raise money for injured troops.

“When I got it, it was just a piece of scrap metal,” Ely said. “I am only doing this to raise money for military charities. If the Iraqis want to split the proceeds to give some to Iraqi charities, I am happy to listen.”

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.