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Iraq shoe-throwing monument removed

Jan. 31, 2009 at 8:39 AM

TAKRIT, Iraq, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A monument commemorating the Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at then-U.S. President George W. Bush has been taken down in Takrit, officials said.

Earlier this week, sculptor Laith al-Amiri, with the help from children at a Takrit orphanage, finished erecting a huge brown replica of one of the shoes hurled at Bush last month by journalist Muntadhir al-Zaidi during a press conference in Baghdad, CNN reported.

The mostly fiberglass 11-foot monument was removed after a request from the Iraqi central government, which has criminal charges pending against al-Zaidi, CNN said.

"We will not allow anyone to use the government facilities and buildings for political motives," said Abdullah Jabara, Salaheddin's deputy governor.

The orphans helped al-Amiri build the $5,000 structure in 15 days, said orphanage director Faten Abdulqader al-Naseri.

"Those orphans who helped the sculptor in building this monument were the victims of Bush's war," al-Naseri was quoted as saying. "The shoe monument is a gift to the next generation to remember the heroic action by the journalist." Takrit is the home region of late Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein.

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