Friday, January 30, 2009

Bush shoe attack inspires huge bronze shoe sculpture


Bush shoe attack spawns artwork

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-Zeidi, was arrested and awaits trial.

As he pulled off his shoes, Mr Zeidi, 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 tree?

Mr Zeidi 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.

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 tree 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 Zeidi, 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.

1 comment:

coffee said...

Iraqis should put the shoe sculpture back up after U.S. forces leave in honor of their new democratic rights