If you’ve got an extra $2 million or so, you might be able to own a part of American history.
The original statue of the raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima will be up for sale at Bonhams auction house in New York on February 22. The statue is expected to bring in up to $1.8 million.
A sculptor serving as an artist in the Navy created the iconic image. According to an Associated Press report on Newser, Felix de Weldon sculpted the 12½-foot tall statue in three months in 1945 before he was authorized to build the 32-foot monument that stands in Arlington.
The original bronze statue depicts five Marines and a Navy Corpsman raising the stars and stripes on Iwo Jima's Mount Suribachi. It was based on a Pulitzer Prize winning photograph by Joe Rosenthal.
The smaller version was returned to Weldon. Rodney Hilton Brown, a 70-year old military historian who will be auctioning the statue, told ABC News that he acquired the statue from de Weldon in exchange for a violin, a sword and an undisclosed amount of cash.
Brown will be donating part of the sale’s proceeds to the Marine Corps – Law Enforcement Foundation, which awards scholarships to the children of fallen Marines and law enforcement members.
The statue’s home was at the Intrepid Sea-Air- Space Museum in New York City from 1995 to 2006, according to the New York Daily News. The museum asked Brown to take the statue after they underwent renovations in 2007. It had been in storage in Connecticut since that time.