Languages
Page last updated at 20:26 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009

Bush shoe attack spawns artwork

The unveiling of the sculpture took place on Thursday

A sculpture of an enormous bronze-coloured shoe has been erected in Iraq to honour the journalist who threw his shoes at ex-US President George W Bush.

The sofa-sized artwork was formally unveiled in Tikrit, hometown of late Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein.

Artist Laith al-Amari insisted it was not a political work, but a "source of pride for all Iraqis".

Mr Bush managed to dodge the shoes but the man who threw them, Muntadar al-Zaidi, was arrested and awaits trial.

As he pulled off his shoes, Mr Zaidi, now 30, shouted: "This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq."

He also told Mr Bush, who launched the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and was paying a final visit to Iraq last month: "This is a farewell kiss, you dog".

Significant bush?

Mr Zaidi shot to fame as a result of his actions, which signalled extreme contempt in the Arab world, and inspired rallies across the Middle East and beyond.

Muntadar al-Zaidi (archive image)

About 400 people gathered on Thursday to see the monument unveiled - a shoe on a white pedestal, about 3m (10ft) high, with a poem praising Mr Zaidi at its base, AFP said. There is also a bush sticking out of the shoe.

The sculpture stands in the gardens of an Iraqi foundation that looks after children whose parents died in the violence following the US-led invasion.

The foundation's president, Shaha al-Juburi, said the sculpture was not backed by any political party or organisation.

Since his arrest, Mr Zaidi, a TV journalist, has reportedly been beaten in custody, suffering a broken arm, broken ribs and internal bleeding.

He has been charged with aggression against a foreign head of state, and faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted. His family denies he has done anything wrong.

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Bush 'shoe maker' hit by demand
22 Dec 08 |  Middle East
Bush brushes off shoe attack
16 Dec 08 |  Middle East
Profile: Shoe-throwing journalist
17 Dec 08 |  Middle East
Bush shoe-ing worst Arab insult
15 Dec 08 |  Middle East
Shoes thrown at Bush on Iraq trip
15 Dec 08 |  Middle East


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific