Last October we told you that a buttock from the statue of Saddam Hussein was on its way to from Iraq to Britain for auction. The value? Around $15,400. The two-foot wide bronze backside belonged to Nigel “Spud” Ely, a 52-year-old former SAS soldier who got a hold of the souvenir after the statue was toppled by U.S. troops in 2003.
According to the BBC, Ely withdrew the piece from sale after it failed to meet its reserve price at an auction in Derby.
But the tale of the deceased despot’s metal buttocks doesn’t end there.
Apparently, Ely enlisted the help of Trebletap, a company specializing in War Relic Art, to find a buyer for the unusual piece of history. Now company director, Jim Thorpe, has been “arrested on suspicion of breaching the 2003 Iraq Sanctions Order, which governs the importation of ‘Iraqi cultural property,'” reports The Guardian.
Ely believes the Iraqi government, which complained to Derbyshire police last week, only wants the memento back after learning of its value.
Meanwhile, Trebletap told the BBC that it “was keeping the statue in a secret location.”