A new bronze statue to first lady Melania Trump has been unveiled near her hometown in Slovenia to replace a wooden one that was torched by arsonists on July Fourth, according to a report.
The new statue features a plaque dedicating it to “the eternal memory of a monument to Melania which stood at this location,” the BBC reported.
The first lady was born in Novo Mesto in 1970 but grew up in the town of Sevnica, when Slovenia was part of the Communist nation of Yugoslavia.
Brad Downey, a Berlin-based American artist, commissioned the original statue, which was carved out of a tree trunk by local chainsaw artisan Ales Zupevc, according to the BBC.
It depicted Melania in a blue coat like the one she wore to her husband’s inauguration, but bore only a loose resemblance to her, prompting some to describe it as a “disgrace” and a “Smurfette.”
Downy has since exhibited the burned statue in Slovenia, saying it “represents a visual representation of political tensions that are erupting in my country.”
The new statue was unveiled to the public on Tuesday.
“We are here today because we put up again a statue of Melania to the place where it was burnt and to commemorate the statue that was set on fire,” Slovenian artist Marko Vivoda told The Associated Press.
A wooden statue of the president also appeared in Sevnica last year, but was burned down by unknown culprits in January.
New York Post
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