Iraq Seeks Return of Saddam's Bronze Butt British soldier's cheeky keepsake is 'cultural property,' Iraq says By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Jan 20, 2012 2:31 AM CST Updated Jan 20, 2012 6:31 AM CST 25 comments Comments Former British SAS soldier Nigel Ely poses for pictures with a bronze buttock from a statue of Saddam Hussein. (Getty Images) (Newser) – Iraq is fighting for the return of Saddam Hussein's giant bronze buttock. The 2-foot cheek was brought back to Britain by former special-forces solder Nigel Ely, who, with the help of US Marines, pried it off a toppled statue soon after the fall of Baghdad in 2003. Iraq's government says the buttock counts as "illegally removed Iraqi cultural property." Ely 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 US and UK. The chief of a war art relic company has been questioned by police for attempting to help Ely sell the piece, the BBC reports. "This is like having a chunk of the Berlin Wall—it's part of history but it's not cultural property," Ely says.