The monument commemorating the journalist who hurled his shoes at President George W. Bush was taken down a day after it was erected, local officials in Tikrit told CNN.
Assisted by kids at the Tikrit Orphanage, sculptor Laith al-Amiri on Tuesday erected 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.
But officials from Salaheddin province told CNN that the monument was removed after a request from the central government, which has charges pending against al-Zaidi — now in an Iraqi jail.
After the request was made, Iraqi police visited the location to make sure that the shoe monument was removed.
“We will not allow anyone to use the government facilities and buildings for political motives,” said Abdullah Jabara, Salaheddin deputy governor.
Al-Zaidi’s angry gesture touched a defiant nerve throughout the Arab and Muslim world. He is regarded by many people as a hero, and demonstrators last month took to the streets in the Arab world and called for his release.