New Melania Trump statue unveiled after last one was set on fire

Brodie Owen
·2-min read
A bronze statue depicting Melania Trump has been unveiled in her hometown in Slovenia. (REUTERS)
A bronze statue depicting Melania Trump has been unveiled in her hometown in Slovenia. (REUTERS)

A bronze statue representing Melania Trump has been unveiled near her hometown in Slovenia to replace a wooden one that was set on fire on US Independence Day.

The tongue-in-cheek statue bears no obvious resemblance to Mrs Trump.

But a plaque next to it reads the piece is “dedicated to the eternal memory of a monument to Melania which stood at this location”.

The original by US artist Brad Downey was set on fire on 4 July by an unknown arsonist after being labelled a “disgrace” by locals in the town of Sevnica, where the First Lady grew up.

Residents said the statue looked like the Smurf character “Smurfette” for its pale blue colour - representing the dress Mrs Trump wore to her husband’s inauguration.

The rustic figure was cut from a tree trunk and placed on the outskirts of her hometown in 2019.

Mr Downey has since exhibited the burnt statue in Slovenia as a reminder of the “political tensions that are erupting in my country”.

Another statue depicting Donald Trump was unveiled in August last year in the town of Sela pri Kamniku.

The wooden statue is 8m tall and features Mr Trump with a square head and jaw, raising his fist in the air.

Its creator, Tomaz Schlegl, said at the time it was meant as a comment on pupulism.

“For the first time since World War Two populism is prevailing: look at Johnson, look at Trump, our president or [Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor] Orban. Where is this world heading?” he said.

“We want to open people's eyes about what democracy is.”

Charred wooden statue of Melania TrumpAFP via Getty Images
Charred wooden statue of Melania TrumpAFP via Getty Images

Mrs Trump was born in Novo Mesto, then part of Yugoslavia, in 1970.

When she was as teenager, she and her family moved to a two-storey house in Sevnica - a town of 5,000 located about 50 miles east of the capital Ljubljana.

Since her husband became president, tourists have visited the town eager to learn more about Mrs Trump’s heritage.

Residents have brought out ranges of Melania-branded merchandise, including slippers, cakes, and Trump-like burgers with cheese “hair”.

A “Melania cake” is also sold at the local bakery.

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