Empty palaces of tyrants

When dictators are overthrown by rebel or army forces, they flee their palaces, estates, and bunkers, leaving them to the mercy of the victors.
So it was with the residence of Saddam Hussein, Makar el-Tartarus at Lake Tartarus, as was the case with the houses of the Gaddafi family throughout Libya. When the rebels occupy these buildings, they are the first to whom the life of the leaders is revealed.

Empty palaces of tyrants

1. US Army soldiers in the palace of Uday Hussein in Baghdad, April 10 2003. The building suffered several strikes by coalition aviation. (Tyler Hicks / The New York Times)

2. Soldiers and civilians in the office of the Romanian dictator Ceausescu at the headquarters of the Central Committee, 26 December 1989, in Bucharest. Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena were executed on December 25 1989. (PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP / Getty Images)

3. An anti-communist soldier plunges a bayonet into a portrait of Ceausescu, December 28 1989, in Sibiu. The uprising put an end to the 24-year rule of the Romanian dictator. Ceausescu and his wife were shot on December 25 1989 of the year. After eight years, Romania began to lift the veil of secrets surrounding the uprising and the circumstances in which President Ion Iliescu came to power. According to Attorney General Sorin Moisescu, reports of "the terrorists loyal to Ceausescu" and bloody sabotage were intended to justify the arrival of Iliescu in power. “Nothing after December 22 1989 of the year did not happen by itself. The death of several demonstrators was supposed to buy the legitimacy of the new regime, ”Mosescu told 24 on December 1998 of the year. (MICHEL GANGNE / AFP / Getty Images)

4. In the palace of Saddam Hussein, Makar el-Tartarus, 11 June 2003. Saddam built the so-called “Green Palace” at 1999 in honor of his birthday. This palace is the largest and most luxurious of all the estates of Hussein. The area is 4,5 square kilometers and consists of buildings for the president and distinguished guests. The size of the palace is second only to the residence of Hussein in Tikrit. Coalition forces did not inflict air strikes on the palace, but it was completely looted by local residents. (Photo by Marco Di Lauro / Getty Images)

5. An Iraqi woman and her daughter steal plastic tables in the center of Baghdad, 1 on April 2003. Looting in government buildings and offices flourished after the fall of the regime and the capture of the city by the Coalition forces. (Photo by Scott Nelson / Getty Images)

6. A US Army soldier in a chair in the palace of Radwali, owned by Saddam Hussein, 25 June 2003 of the year. Here, near the Baghdad airport, he received guests. The US Armed Forces arrange a press tour of the dictator's palaces, three months after the fall of Baghdad. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / Getty Images)

7. The journalist shoots the halls of the Qasr al-Salam Palace (Peace Palace) of the ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Baghdad, 25 on June 2003 of the year. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / Getty Images)

8. American soldier on the steps at the entrance to the palace of Hussein Qasr al-Salam in Baghdad, 25 June 2003 of the year. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / Getty Images)

9. The junior sergeant of the 4 Infantry Division, Juresses Zamora, from Las Vegas, Nevada, is resting with a laptop in Saddam Hussein's palace in Tikrit, Iraq, 12 on November 2003 of the year. Soldiers settle down comfortably, continuing the battle with Hussein’s hometown. (Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

10. Soldiers stand at attention at the ceremony of handing over the command of 1 on July 2004 of the year to Camp Victory, Iraq. General Casey assumed command of the forces from General Sanchez at Al Faw Palace at Camp Victory. (Photo by Chris Hondros / Getty Images)

11. US Army junior sergeant Daniel Andrews (left) and Private Robert Knott (right) from the Alpha 588 Company of the Engineering Battalion in the pool of Saddam Hussein Palace in Tikrit, Iraq, 1 September 2003 of the year. US troops stationed in the palace, are in mortal danger, leaving the camp. But while they are inside, you can relax. (AP Photo / Murad Sezer)

12. The 1 / 22 Battalion of the 4 Infantry Division (Ironhorse Task Force) plays basketball in the palace of Saddam Hussein on the banks of the Tigris River in Tikrit, 180 km north of Baghdad, 23 November 2003. The palace, with its marble floors, domed roofs and walls covered with a complex pattern of arabesques, looks like part of an oriental tale, but now here is a military camp. Saddam’s favorite palaces are occupied by the Ironhorse Advanced Base. (MAURICIO LIMA / AFP / Getty Images)

13. Imelda Marcos bedroom in Santo Nino, Philippines, October 13 2004. When, in 1981, the first lady built a mansion in her hometown of Tacloban, many called it the presidential palace of Malakanang in the south. The name comes from the icon of the child Jesus, and the palace is a monument to the last years of the reign of Ferdinand Marcos, overthrown in 1986 after 20 years in power. (ROMEO GACAD / AFP / Getty Images)

14. Jacuzzi in the bathroom of the first lady Imelda Marcos in the temple of Santo Nino, October 13 2004. (ROMEO GACAD / AFP / Getty Images)

15. October 19 2005 of the year: Iraqi soldiers at a huge fresco in one of the former palaces of Saddam Hussein, located in the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad. The hero of all Arabs, the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein will be tried on November 28 2005. (KARIM SAHIB / AFP / Getty Images)

16. The worker makes the bed in the room where, presumably, Saddam Hussein once spent the night in one of the dictator's villas. Now this room can be rented for 170 dollars per day, in the city of Hillach in Babil province. The palace, located near the remains of the ancient city of Babylon, was cleared by marauders of everything that could have been carried out when the Saddam regime fell in April 2003 of the year. Until 2006, the palace was occupied by troops of the United States and the Coalition, and now it is open to the public for 85 cents. Some of the nearby villas have been turned into hotels. (Photo by Muhannad Fala'ah / Getty Images)

17. The marauder takes the chair out of Saddam Hussein’s palace in Baghdad, 12 on April 2003. Looting took a massive scale after the capture of the capital by US troops. Hundreds of Iraqis, including policemen, 12 of April responded to the US request for assistance in restoring the order and operation of the infrastructure of Baghdad after a wave of looting that followed weeks of shelling and bombing. (ODD ANDERSEN / AFP / Getty Images)

18. US Army Sergeant Craig Zentkovich from the 1 Brigade Combat Team takes a picture of the bedroom in the presidential palace of Saddam Hussein, April 13, 2003 of the year. The palace is located on the territory of a huge military complex, near the airport, southwest of the capital. (ROMEO GACAD / AFP / Getty Images)

19. American Marines at the Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince, March 9 2004. The troops of France, the USA and Chile flooded Haiti, trying to restore order after the flight of President Jean Bertrand Aristide 29 February 2004. (JAIME RAZURI / AFP / Getty Images)

20. Rebel Union fighter Laurent Desire Kabila surrounded by marauders, beats his weapons a photograph of the overthrown Zairian president Mobutu Seze Seko, 20 May 1997, at the house of the former leader of the Chatshi military camp in Kinshasa. In October, 1996, the leader of the Zaire opposition, Laurent Desire Kabila, as head of the Union of Democratic Forces for the liberation of Congo and Zaire, whose forces consisted mainly of residents of eastern Zaire, began an uprising against Mobutu, and he had to flee. 17 May 1997, Kabila became head of state after his troops occupied Kinshasa, and renamed the country Democratic Republic of the Congo. (PASCAL GUYOT / AFP / Getty Images)

21. Afghan children play football in front of the ruins of Darul Aman Palace in Kabul, December 3 2010. The government of Afghanistan rejects allegations of corruption, but refuses to comment on the low rating of President Hamid Kazari. Deputy presidential spokesman Hamed Elmi called the documents published by WikiLeaks “not new” and “not having a particular impact on our good relations with the international community.” (MASSOUD HOSSAINI / AFP / Getty Images)

22. A child in the hall of the former palace of the dictator Mobutu Seze Seko in Gbadolite, November 24 2010. Mobutu built two private residences and a presidential palace in Gbadolite and Kavel. Having come to power as a result of the coup 1965 of the year, five years after gaining independence from Belgium, Mobutu ruled Zaire 32 of the year, and put the country into a long economic crisis, aggravated by corruption and embezzlement of funds. (Gwenn Dubourthoumieu / AFP / Getty Images)

23. Tunisian workers remove from the walls of the deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in the office of the Tunisian Prime Minister, January 17, 2011. The January 17 demonstrators demanded that Ben Ali be removed from power during the creation of a national unity government. The Moroccan press said that Ben Ali’s resignation was a lesson for North Africa and the entire Arab world. (FETHI BELAID / AFP / Getty Images)

24. The Libyan rebel stands at the entrance to the complex, which locals and insurgents consider to be the festive residence of the Gaddafi family in Ayin Zara, near Tripoli, August 31 2011. The rebels are finding more and more new luxurious buildings, gaining access to the territories occupied by the troops of the loyalists of Muammar Gaddafi. (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA / AFP / Getty Images)

25. A general picture of the garden behind the building, which locals and insurgents consider to be the festive residence of the Gaddafi family in Ayin Zara, near Tripoli, 31 August 2011. (CARL DE SOUZA / AFP / Getty Images)

26. A general view of the complex, which locals and insurgents consider to be the festive residence of the Gaddafi family in Ain Zara, near Tripoli, 31 August 2011. (CARL DE SOUZA / AFP / Getty Images)

27. Libyan rebel by the pool in the home of Muatassim Gaddafi, son of the Libyan leader in Tripoli, August 30 2011. The rebels announced an ultimatum to surrender to Gaddafi loyalists when NATO representatives reported that Muammar Gaddafi could continue to command troops even while on the run. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP / Getty Images)

28. Libyan rebels in the home of Muatassim Gaddafi, son of the Libyan leader in Tripoli, August 30 2011. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP / Getty Images)

29. Libyan rebels inspect the empty pool at the home of Muatassim Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan leader in Tripoli, 30 August 2011. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP / Getty Images)

30. The rebel is photographed in the territory of the Muatassim Gaddafi mansion in Tripoli, August 30 2011. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP / Getty Images)

31. Former prisoner of the Abu Slim prison, Sami Sadik Abu Ruvays, next to the swimming pool in a luxurious complex, which rebels and locals consider to be the festive residence of the Gaddafi family. (CARL DE SOUZA / AFP / Getty Images)

31. A Libyan rebel examines a network of bunkers under the estate of Muatassim Gaddafi, son of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Tripoli, 30 August 2011 of the year. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP / Getty Images)
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