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Iraq War Relics

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

One of the National Infantry Museum's most prized paintings sits on the floor, not the wall.

Museum director Frank Hanner thought the most appropriate way to display a large oil painting of Saddam Hussein that was captured by American troops in Iraq was to place it on the floor, covered in glass, so visitors could walk on it.

Hanner says he was simply following the lead of the former Iraqi leader, who had put former President George Bush's image on the floor of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad.

In Islamic culture, showing someone the bottom of your foot or the sole of your shoe is one of the highest forms of insult.

As history is being made overseas, the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning is busy preserving it.

The portrait, taken in April by members of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, is just one of many war artifacts on display at the military museum, which features items dating back to the 17th century.

The museum's staff has been scrambling to update its displays to reflect the role of infantrymen in the country's most recent war.

he most expensive artifact, Hanner says, is a .345 caliber German game rifle made for Saddam. It was captured by soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry, during a raid of one of Saddam's palaces.

Hanner says he's also expecting the head of one of Saddam's toppled statues to arrive soon.


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