In the past month, Donald Trump has been doing all within his power to protect statues of problematic figures from US history from anti-racism protesters who have been attempting to remove them from public places but we can't imagine that he would have envisioned that people in Slovenia would be willing to vandalise a statue of his wife, Melania.
Unfortunately for the president that is the case as a wooden statue of the first lady in her hometown of Sevnica, Slovenia has been scorched on the Fourth of July, the very day that the Trump's were celebrating Independence Day.
Brad Downey, the Berlin-based American artist who commissioned local folk artist Ales Zupevc to make the sculpture in 2019, was informed by police on 5th July that his creation had been burnt and asked for it to be removed to prevent it from being further damaged. Speaking to Reuters, Downey said "I want to know why they did it," adding that he had hoped that Melania's status as a migrant who is married to a man who is determined to reduce immigration would create a discussion about the issue.
Police spokeswoman Alenka Drenik is quoted as saying:
The investigation in this case has not been completed yet so we cannot reveal details due to the interest of further procedures.
Downey is now hoping to talk to the culprits if they are found for part of a film that he is making that he intends to show in an exhibition in Slovenia in September.
The life-size sculpture was made with a chainsaw from the trunk of a living linden tree and although it doesn't bear a striking resemblance to Melania, it does at least feature the blue dress that she wore when Trump was sworn in as president in January 2017. That being said, now that the sculpture is back in the news it has reminded everyone of just how weird it looks.
The news story here is that a statue of Melania Trump in her home town has been burnt down. But... the statue.… https://t.co/2PAbodYb3e
— Hannah Jane Parkinson (@Hannah Jane Parkinson)
That's a shame because, from an artistic point of view, the crude, wooden statue perfectly captured Melania's full… https://t.co/hrnphvesM6