Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 May 2019

Plaque to Saddam Hussein removed from London bench

A commemoration to the former Iraqi dictator mysteriously appeared on Monday

Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. AFP PHOTO
Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. AFP PHOTO

A council in England has been forced to remove a commemorative plaque dedicated to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein following outcry from residents.

The plaque, on a bench on Wansted High Street in northest London, appeared on Monday. “In Loving Memory of Saddam Hussein, 1937-2006,” it said.

Local authorities said they had not given permission to anyone to install the plague, and did not know how it ended up on the bench.

It provoked a mixed response on social media and around the world after local resident Victoria Richards posted a photo of it. The picture was retweeted thousands of times.

Hussein was president of Iraq for more than twenty years until he was ousted in the US invasion of 2003. He was later captured and executed three years later by hanging.


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Ms Richards told Sky News that locals took offense. “People are shocked that it’s gathered this much national attention and seem split between not wanting to give the prankster any publicity and outrage over such a public displau of insensitivity to the Iraqi community and to anyone affected by the Saddam regime.”

She added,” I would love to know more about the prankster’s motivation: was this a political act? An artistic statement? Or just a bad joke? And will we ever know?”

Regardless of the motivation, many were not amused. Melissa Munday-Chanin told The Independent, “If it’s a joke, it’s not remotely funny.”

Updated: November 20, 2018 09:05 PM