Iraq Restores Monument Symbolizing Hussein Era





BAGHDAD — As hundreds of thousands in Egypt protested the iron rule of that country’s president, Iraq quietly began restoring a bronze fist of its former dictator, Saddam Hussein.

Without public announcement or debate, the authorities here ordered the reconstruction of one of the most audacious symbols in Baghdad of Mr. Hussein’s long, violent and oppressive rule: the Victory Arch, two enormous sets of crossed swords, clutched in hands modeled after his very own.

“Nuremberg and Las Vegas all rolled in one,” Kanan Makiya, an Iraqi-born author and architect called the monument in “The Monument: Art, Vulgarity and Responsibility in Iraq,” which was published in 1991 under a pseudonym to protect himself then, even in exile.

After years of neglect and a partial dismantling in 2007 that was halted amid protests after the panels of one fist and the pommels of two swords were removed, workers recently began to put back together the detritus of Mr. Hussein’s megalomania....

comments powered by Disqus
History News Network