published Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Original Iwo Jima monument unsold at NYC auction

The original 12 1/2-foot  cast stone version of Felix de Weldon's iconic statue depicting soldiers raising the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima is on display Friday.
The original 12 1/2-foot cast stone version of Felix de Weldon's iconic statue depicting soldiers raising the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima is on display Friday.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NEW YORK — A long-forgotten World War II statue expected to sell for close to $2 million has been passed on by buyers at a New York City auction.

Bonhams Maritime Art Department sales specialist Gregg Dietrich (DEE’-trik) says an original cast of the famous 1945 flag-raising at Iwo Jima went unsold Friday. Three potential buyers stopped the bidding at $950,000, below the undisclosed minimum sale price.

The 12 1/2-foot statue was constructed nine years before the world-famous 32-foot sculpture of the flag-raising that rests in Arlington, Va.

The sculpture was estimated to bring in up to $1.8 million. Dietrich says the bidding lasted for four to five minutes.

Bonhams will still act as the sales agent for the statue’s owner in any future private sales.

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