London: Iraq has demanded back a metal chunk that formed the bottom of a bronze statue of late president Saddam Hussein that was taken by a British soldier when the statue was pulled down in Baghdad.
Nigel "Spud" Ely, 52, was guarding a camera crew in April 2003 while they filmed jubilant Iraqi people pulling down the giant Saddam statue in the capital city.
The then Special Air Service (SAS) soldier picked up a two-foot bronze part that formed part of Saddam`s backside and took it to Britain, The Sun reported.
Now the Iraqi government is claiming the metal piece was part of the country`s "cultural antiquity".
Ely has been interviewed by Derbyshire police after the Iraqi embassy made a complaint.
He has turned the metal piece into an artwork and says that makes him its legal owner.
He also tried unsuccessfully to auction it last year to help raise money for injured troops.