Saddam statue leg postedon internet auction website

8th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

8 November 2004 , OBERHAUSEN - An internet auction house in Germany Monday featured what was said to be the bronze lower left leg of the statue of Saddam Hussein that was toppled in the heart of Baghdad last year as millions of TV viewers watched. The 170 cm cast bronze leg from mid-thigh downward, weighing 600 kilos, was all that was left standing on the plinth at al-Ferdaous Square in Baghdad when US forces pulled down the statueon 9 April 2003 to the cheers of a crowd of Baghdad residents. The owner, id

8 November 2004

OBERHAUSEN - An internet auction house in Germany Monday featured what was said to be the bronze lower left leg of the statue of Saddam Hussein that was toppled in the heart of Baghdad last year as millions of TV viewers watched.

The 170 cm cast bronze leg from mid-thigh downward, weighing 600 kilos, was all that was left standing on the plinth at al-Ferdaous Square in Baghdad when US forces pulled down the statueon 9 April 2003 to the cheers of a crowd of Baghdad residents.

The owner, identified by the German-based Azubo.de internet auction site only as Paul911, claimed to have obtained the artefact from "contacts" after Allied forces removed it from the plinth in cleanup activities after the statue was pulled down.

Pictures accompanying the auction offer showed the lower part of a bronze leg set on what appeared to be a cement base in front of a plaque bearing the inscription "Saddam Hussein Statue, Al-Ferdaous, Baghdad, 9 April 2003".

Also on view were close-ups from news photographs showing the statue being pulled down, leaving the lower left leg lying atop the plinth.

Claiming claimed he was "convinced" of the piece's authenticity, the seller posted a reserve of EUR 100,000.

When the bidding ends at midnight GMT Monday night, the lucky bidder is obliged to agree to pay shipping costs for delivery to anywhere in the world, according to the seller.

Within hours the website had taken nearly 50,000 hits and scores of bids.

German police investigators were among those interested in the auction. Authorities were said to be looking into the legitimacy of the auction following a tip-off from a rival seller that the leg might be a fake.

Millions of international TV viewers watched last year as the 12-metre-tall statue was pulled down.

US Marines briefly covered Saddam's head with an American flag, like a hood. But they removed it and hung the black-red-and-white Iraqi flag from his neck before they fixed a cable to the statue and pulled it down with the winch of a Marine tank recovery vehicle.

Crowds of Iraqis cheered at the toppling of the statue, which depicted the Iraqi president in civilian clothes, his right arm raised high in greeting to his people.

The crowd pelted it with shoes and slippers - a gross insult in the Arab world - while a column of US armour sat in the al-Ferdaous (Paradise) Square, a large roundabout ringed with columns in front of the blue-domed Shahid Mosque.

After it came down they dragged the head through the streets.

DPA

Subject: German news 

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