Iraqi artist converts Saddam statues into one honoring U.S.

In the “turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse” category, an Iraqi artist has used the melted remains of two Saddam Hussein statues to make a new sculpture honoring America’s sacrifice for the Middle East nation.

During Hussein’s reign, the artists, Kalat, was forced to craft two statues of Saddam on horseback for display in the former dictator’s hometown, Tikrit. After Hussein was ousted, members of the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division destroyed the statues and sent the pieces to Kalat. To show his appreciation for the U.S., the artist melted the pieces and used the bronze for his new work. The sculpture features a small Iraqi girl comforting a U.S. soldier who is mourning a fallen comrade before a memorial of boots, rifle and helmet.

According to the Army News Service, the sculpture is based on a scene many in Iraq have witnessed in one form or another.

“It’s about freedom for this country, but it’s also about the children who will grow up in a free society,” Command Sgt. Maj. Chuck Fuss told the news service.

The statue, which currently sits in one of Saddam’s former palaces, will eventually be flown to Fort Hood, Texas, where it will become part of a larger memorial project at the 4th Infantry Division museum.

Kalat spent several months sculpting and casting the statue, the Army News Service reported.

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