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TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - An Iraqi town has unveiled a giant monument of a shoe in honor of the journalist who threw his footwear at former U.S. President George W. Bush.
The two-meter (six-foot) high statue, unveiled Thursday in former dictator Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit, depicts a bronze-colored shoe, filled with a plastic shrub. "Muntazer: fasting until the sword breaks its fast with blood; silent until our mouths speak the truth," reads an inscription, in honor of journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who hurled his shoes at Bush and called him a "dog" at a news conference during the former president's final visit to Iraq.
Zaidi has been held in jail in Baghdad since the incident, facing charges of assaulting a visiting head of state.
Fatin Abdul Qader, head of an orphanage and children's organization in the town, said the one-and-a-half-ton monument by artist Laith al-Amiri was titled "statue of glory and generosity."
"This statue is the least expression of our appreciation for Muntazer al-Zaidi, because Iraqi hearts were comforted by his throw," she said.
Reporting by Sabah al-Bazee; writing by Peter Graff