Apparently it's illegal to pinch Saddam Hussein's bum.
Regular readers will remember the story - how could you forget it - from the summer. Nigel Ely, ex-SAS, decided that he wanted a special souvenir of the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime and found one in the giant statue of the dictator when it was toppled in Baghdad.
Following the famous event of the great bronze monument being dragged down and beaten with shoes, it was supposed to be being guarded by US marines but they made an exception for their British equivalent who prised off a two foot square piece from the statue's hindquarters.
|Saddam bends over, making his buttocks irresistible to some|
Ely hadn't really intended to take such a big piece, and struggled to get it home. He only got it past the border by making the cheeky claim that it was part of the armour for his car. He offered it for auction in the UK, but it didn't sell. It's unclear what reserve was placed on the lot, but valuations of £250,000 had been mentioned.
Frankly, we loved the story, even including it in our Christmas Quiz blog post. But now it seems that the law has got involved as a man offering the buttock for sale on Ely's behalf has been arrested under the 2003 Iraq Sanctions Order, which governs the importation of "Iraqi cultural property".
Ely himself has described this as ridiculous, arguing that some things which have historical significance aren't cultural property - like parts of the Berlin wall.
Regardless, it seems that Hussein's buttock won't be on the market for the time being. No sign of Gaddafi's fist either. How about Napoleon's hair?
That's right. It's possible to buy a piece of the French Emperor Napoleon's hair - not from a statue or image. The price tag is a little under £250,000 too: £49.95.