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It immediately went viral after it was wheeled into the hall at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida, for last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where Mr Trump delivered an address on Sunday.
Days afterwards, a business partner of Mr Zegan reached-out to Politico to say that while the golden statue was assembled in Mexico, where the creator lives as an American expat, the replica of the former president was in-fact made in China.
“Everything is made in China,” one of Mr Zegan’s business partners, Jose Mauricio Mendoza, told Político on Tuesday. “I want to be straight, because if I’m going to sell these statues, they have to be true.”
According to Mr Mendoza, the factory responsible was the Shijiazhuang D & Z Sculpture Co, in the country’s Hebei province.
A statement on the company’s website appears to confirm that it can “design, manufacture and supply bronze statues, stone sculptures, stainless steel sculptures and fibreglass or resin sculptures all across the world for interior or outdoor decor.”
Mr Zegan admitted on Tuesday that the golden statue was made in China, as alleged, Politico reported
He had claimed last week that the CPAC statue “was made in Mexico”, and that it took more than six months to assemble with the help of three men.
It was then transported to Tampa, Florida, where the fibreglass model was painted in chrome, and wheeled into the CAPC conference and dressed with a suit jacket, American-flag-themed shorts and flip-flop sandals.
As seen in social media videos and pictures, the model attracted attention among CPAC attendees and critics of the former president, who said the statue showed the party’s infatuation with Mr Trump, who is out of office.
Mr Zegan told CNN last week that he wanted to create the six foot model to counter previous replicas of the former president, which included a model of Mr Trump on the toilet, and that he hoped it would find its way into a future Trump presidential library.
"Two years ago, when I saw all those statues of naked Trump and Trump on a toilet, I said, 'You know what? I can do better,' " Mr Zegan said.
Mr Mendoza, however, added to Politico that he was “the architect of this,” and that Mr Zegan’s name was used because “no one is going to buy ‘Jose’ stuff, at least not a Donald Trump statue.”
The Independent has approached the Shijiazhuang D & Z Sculpture Co. and Mr Zegan for comment.