Same stump, slightly different first lady. After an arson attack "conceptualized as criticism" of President Trump, a wooden statue of Melania Trump burned down near her hometown in Slovenia on the Fourth of July has been replaced with a sturdier bronze version, according to one of the artists who helped create both. The Guardian reports that the new statue, designed by US artist Brad Downey and local craftsman Ales "Maxi" Zupevc, has been placed on the same 9-foot-tall tree stump as the original in Rozno, just outside the first lady's hometown of Sevnica. In July, Downey told a German art magazine that the bronze replacement was to be made "as solid as possible, out of a durable material which cannot be wantonly destroyed."
The statue, described by NDTV as having "rough features and a face unrecognizable as the first lady," also bears a plaque that reads: "This statue is dedicated to the eternal memory of a monument to Melania which stood in this location." The AP's take: "The life-sized sculpture bears no obvious resemblance to the US first lady." Meanwhile, the charred remnants of the original wooden statue have gone on display at an exhibition in Koper, Slovenia. The exhibit, entitled "F--- Off Illusion," is said by the art installation's curator to be "all the incarnations of this contradiction that is called Melania" and "not the final word of what Melania will become in the future," per the Guardian. (Read more Melania Trump stories.)