Jump to content

Chandelier Crystals from Saddam's Palace


Recommended Posts

I guess I'll play

 

I spent a period of time from 2006-2007 providing external security to the US Embassy In Baghdad. At the time, the Embassy was located in Saddam Hussein's Palace within the IZ. Aside from the MSG detail, we were the only Marines there, a 37 man task force. Ironically, though MSG was internal security, they lived in trailers outside, and us being external security, lived inside in the 'dungeon'.

 

During the invasion, a bombing run evidently knocked down a chandelier, which they proceeded to just toss into storage in the dungeon. I harvested a few strands of crystals from it to take back with me.

 

Despite all the myths about solid gold this and crystal that, in reality Saddam was rather a cheap@$$. His 24k doors were merely sheet gold hammered over wooden designs, and his crystal chandeliers were rather plastic and glass with cheap hammered butterflies. As for the 24K toilet...well, save for a "third floor" (more of a loft), my security clearance covered the rest of the building, and we spent some hours looking for it...never found it, don't think it exists.

 

I've been meaning to frame this, finally rediscovered them and have a case on order. Neat pieces directly connected to a dictator

Palace3.jpg

Palace1.jpg

"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser; Sgt John P Huling; Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco; Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky; LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott; LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye; LCpl Nicolas B Morrison; LCpl Jon T Hicks; LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca; Pvt Lewis T D Calapini; 'The SOI 5'

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another odd thing about the man, I suppose

 

I may have a photo of the chandeliers that didn't fall. In the main corridor, he had one about every ten feet

"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser; Sgt John P Huling; Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco; Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky; LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott; LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye; LCpl Nicolas B Morrison; LCpl Jon T Hicks; LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca; Pvt Lewis T D Calapini; 'The SOI 5'

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great item Brig

 

THanks for sharing.I love seeing and hearing about all the items and the vets who were there during todays wars

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't been able to find an image of the exact type these suspended from yet, but he did use multiple types of chandeliers in the palace. Here are a few images of some I have found from my deployment. In case someone wants to question the provenance of these pieces :lol:

PalcefromBalcony.jpg

Chandlierinpalace.jpg

ThefamousRocketballroominthepalace.jpg

"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser; Sgt John P Huling; Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco; Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky; LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott; LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye; LCpl Nicolas B Morrison; LCpl Jon T Hicks; LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca; Pvt Lewis T D Calapini; 'The SOI 5'

Link to post
Share on other sites
Despite all the myths about solid gold this and crystal that, in reality Saddam was rather a cheap@$$. His 24k doors were merely sheet gold hammered over wooden designs, and his crystal chandeliers were rather plastic and glass with cheap hammered butterflies. As for the 24K toilet...well, save for a "third floor" (more of a loft), my security clearance covered the rest of the building, and we spent some hours looking for it...never found it, don't think it exists.

 

I visited the embassy in Baghdad for a couple of days in 2006 - it was late May if I recall. I saw the "gold" toilet seats and they were simply gold colored plastic. Still, they beat an outdoor Port-a-John -- those things can get hot!

 

Interestingly, the walls surrounding the palace had once had a coat of arms of some type mounted every few yards but by the time I was there they had all been removed, leaving only a shadow showing where they had been.

 

Looking for older Virginia Military Institute items: insignia, uniforms, cadet sabers, documents, and groupings belonging to VMI alumni.

Also interested in Virginia Reserve Militia (VRM) uniforms and insignia, or other items of general Virginia interest.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I visited the embassy in Baghdad for a couple of days in 2006 - it was late May if I recall. I saw the "gold" toilet seats and they were simply gold colored plastic. Still, they beat an outdoor Port-a-John -- those things can get hot!

 

Interestingly, the walls surrounding the palace had once had a coat of arms of some type mounted every few yards but by the time I was there they had all been removed, leaving only a shadow showing where they had been.

 

I got to the embassy late August/early September...would not surprise me if they were intentionally removed and stored, they had quite a few things in storage facilities in and connect to the dungeon

"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser; Sgt John P Huling; Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco; Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky; LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott; LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye; LCpl Nicolas B Morrison; LCpl Jon T Hicks; LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca; Pvt Lewis T D Calapini; 'The SOI 5'

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a metal piece from the top of one of the palace chandeliers that looks like the one in the picture with the chair...fortunately, the soldiers took a picture of the chandelier that shows the pieces he took...it's gold colored pot metal Arabic letters....

 

Mark sends

Mark Conrad, MSgt, USAF (Ret)
"Poor is the nation that has no Heroes...shameful is the one having them that forgets."

The Miami Valley Military History Museum: http://www.mvmhm.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Miami-Valley-Military-History-Museum/111268115594349
Official Partner of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration: www.vietnamwar50th.com
Official Partner of the United States of America World War I Centennial: www.worldwar1centennial.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

my son got to handle gold plated AK-47s. He said they were piece of junk. Gold was so thin it almost rubbed of with handling.

The state Department kept all those in their Bull Pen...including Uday's RPG Launcher and Saddam's infamous shotgun (seen in the image of him firing it one-handed) The wouldn't let his shot gun out, and there were no photographs allowed in that wing of the building, but they let us play with the rest one day. Gold plated, chrome plated, Uday's RPG. And, yes, they were junk. It's my understanding that a couple of the gold AK's made it back and are in private collections somewhere. Damn, 8 years ago...look at those young guys! :o

1353741931_l.jpg

n500052354_1050_2885.jpg

"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser; Sgt John P Huling; Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco; Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky; LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott; LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye; LCpl Nicolas B Morrison; LCpl Jon T Hicks; LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca; Pvt Lewis T D Calapini; 'The SOI 5'

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most interesting! What other items did you see come back?

I brought back a uniform & some field gear, and some floor tiles from the palace. A lot of people bought AK bayonets at a local bazaar. Helmet shells and gas masks my first tour. Other than that, not a whole lot. Trinkets from bazaars or kids on the street, the helmets and masks were because we found a giant cache that had been partially torched. Most of the combatants we encountered were not wearing any military gear

 

That being said, one of my buddies found a framed photo in a shop when we were poking around. An aerial view of the palace before Saddam did all of his stupid statues, busts and fountains in black and white...it was a really cool before shot. He ended up paying like 75-100 bucks for it, but it was a cool find

"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser; Sgt John P Huling; Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco; Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky; LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott; LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye; LCpl Nicolas B Morrison; LCpl Jon T Hicks; LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca; Pvt Lewis T D Calapini; 'The SOI 5'

Link to post
Share on other sites

On one of my deployments, there was an Iraqi IP walking around with a gold plated HK. Sadly, my external hard drive with all my pictures was destroyed, so I have next to nothing left.

donation2014.gif

Collecting Helmets (Especially WWI Painted and USMC) and anything and everything Marine Corps.
Looking hard for WW1 1/6 USMC items.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a pic of my chandelier piece.....cheap pot metal.

 

21. Chandelier topper from Saddam Hussein’s palace in Tikrit. Taken as a souvenir by Army Military Police Sergeant Scott Rowe, who was told by an interpreter that the inscription says “A glorious victory with God’s help”, and that Hussein kept the saying around all his lighting fixtures to remind him that he could do anything.

 

 

 

 

Mark sends

post-3423-0-05067700-1392580190.jpg

Mark Conrad, MSgt, USAF (Ret)
"Poor is the nation that has no Heroes...shameful is the one having them that forgets."

The Miami Valley Military History Museum: http://www.mvmhm.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Miami-Valley-Military-History-Museum/111268115594349
Official Partner of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration: www.vietnamwar50th.com
Official Partner of the United States of America World War I Centennial: www.worldwar1centennial.org

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.