Melania Trump Statue Was Torched on July 4

It was erected in her hometown a year ago
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2020 3:10 AM CDT
Melania Trump Statue Was Torched on July 4
In this Friday, July 5, 2019 photo a sculpture depicting Melania Trump is seen in her hometown of Sevnica, Slovenia.   (AP Photo/Miro Majcen, FILE)

(Newser) – A chainsaw-carved statue of Melania Trump in her hometown in Slovenia went up in flames on Independence Day. American artist Brad Downey, who commissioned local folk artist Alex Zupevc to carve the statue from a tree trunk, says he had the blackened remains removed after the fire and has filed a police report. "I want to know why they did it," Downey tells Reuters. He says the statue, which bore little resemblance to the first lady, was intended to create dialogue about Melania Trump's situation as an immigrant married to an anti-immigration president.

When the statue went up last year, residents of Sevnica called it a "disgrace," saying it looked more like Smurfette than Melania Trump, the BBC reports. The town of 5,000 people has attracted tourists since she became first lady, with vendors selling Trump-themed merchandise. Police say the investigation is ongoing. An equally controversial wooden statue of President Trump in another Slovenian town went up in flames earlier this year. The 26-foot statue had two faces, one of which would reveal shark-like teeth when a mechanism was triggered. (Read more Melania Trump stories.)

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