London: A Quran written in the blood of the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein over two years has been locked behind three vaulted doors in Baghdad and not been opened for three years, it was reported here.
Over a two year period in the late 1990s, a nurse had drawn 27 litres of Saddam Hussein`s blood, which was used by the calligrapher to transcribe the Quran, The Guardian reported.
The vault containing the Quran is in a vast mosque in Baghdad has remained locked for the past three years.
"What is in here is priceless, worth absolutely millions of dollars," Sheikh Ahmed al-Samarrai, head of Iraq`s Sunni Endowment fund, was quoted as saying.
He said: "It was wrong to do what he did, to write it in blood...It is haraam (forbidden)."
After the US-led invasion in 2003, Samarrai hid pages in his house and moved others among his relatives.
"I knew this would be much sought after and we made the decision to protect it. But to see this now is not easy. There are three keys and none of them are held in the one place. I have one, the police chief in the area has another and there is a third in another part of Baghdad. There has to be a decision of a committee to let you in," he stressed.
Saddam Hussein was hanged to death in 2006.
A year before that in 2005, the government had set up a committee to oversee the removal of symbols linked to Saddam, the media report said.
Ali al-Moussawi, a spokesman for the prime minister, Nour al-Maliki, said: "Not everything built during this regime we should remove."
"There were some sculptures however that were solely about dictatorship and control over Iraq. Some spoke to dictators and battles and they should be removed. They have ethnic and sectarian meanings.
On the Quran written in blood, Moussawi said: "We should keep this as a document for the brutality of Saddam, because he should not have done this."
"It says a lot about him. It should never be put in a museum though, because no Iraqi wants to see it. Maybe in the future it could be sent to a private museum, like memorabilia from the Hitler and Stalin regimes."