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Saddam Hussein's Bronze Butt Cheek: Iraq Wants It Back (VIDEO)

HuffPost Weird News     First Posted: 01/20/12 08:51 AM ET Updated: 01/20/12 03:50 PM ET

Saddam Hussein may have been an ass, but Iraq still wants a former British special forces soldier to give a bronze butt cheek that was part of a toppled statue of the dictator.

Nigel Ely, who did the cheeky act with the help of U.S. Marines back in 2003, says he has turned Saddam's butt into a piece of art that he wants to sell to raise money for veterans' charities in the U.S. and U.K., according to Newser.com.

Iraq refuses to turn the other cheek and is accusing Ely of illegally removing Iraqi cultural property.

British police questioned Ely earlier this week, and, according to the BBC, issued him a notice under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act advising him not to alter or dispose of the item until the matter is resolved.

Officials also arrested Jim Thorpe, the director of Trebletap, a war relic company founded by Ely, on suspicion of illegally keeping part of the statue and questioned him on suspicion of breaching Section 8 of the Iraq (UN Sanctions) Order 2003 before releasing him on bail pending further inquiries.

Under the order, anyone possessing Iraqi cultural property must give it to the police, but a Trebletap spokesman told BBC Radio Derby earlier this week that the statue is being kept in a secret location.

Mr Ely, a former SAS soldier, used a sledgehammer and chisel to remove the portion when the statue was brought down in central Baghdad at the end of Hussein's reign.

Despite Iraq's protest, Ely plans to sell the bronze buttock to raise money for charity -- no if, ands, or butts.

However, there may not be much demand for a giant piece of Hussein's bronze heiney. Ely put the piece of posterior on the auction in October, but withdrew it from sale after it failed to meet its $388,000 reserve.