Melania Trump statue burned near her hometown in Slovenia on July 4, officials say

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A statue of first lady Melania Trump was burned on the Fourth of July, near her hometown of Sevnica, Slovenia, news outlets report.

The wooden sculpture of Melania Trump, carved with a chainsaw, was raised July 5th, 2019, according to Total Slovenia News, receiving international attention, and mixed reviews from Slovenians.

On Saturday, one or more unknown assailants burned it, leaving the first lady’s likeness, complete with signature blue dress, charred and disfigured, the outlet reported.

The Novo Mesto Police “are currently investigating” the incident, per Total Slovenia News.

Brad Downey, an American artist based in Berlin, had the statue installed to fuel discussion around the seemingly paradoxical relationship between Melania Trump, an immigrant, and her husband, known for his hardline immigration policies, according to Reuters.

Downey says police informed him that the statue was destroyed on July 5, and he had the life-size sculpture removed immediately.

“I want to know why they did it,” Downey told Reuters. He wants to interview the arsonists for a film he’s been working on and is preparing to release prior to the opening of his September art exhibition in Slovenia.

The office of Melania Trump did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

While Downey funded the piece, a local artisan was actually responsible for carving it, NBC reported. It was cut from a live tree in a field about 8 miles from Sevnica.

One artist in Sevnica said he didn’t care for the statue personally, according to the outlet, but added it’s a shame it was destroyed, as the townspeople are proud to claim Melania.

Hers was the second Trump statue to burn in Slovenia this year.

A 26-ft statue of President Donald Trump featuring two faces, one pleasant and one ghastly, was set ablaze in January, according to The Guardian. The wooden caricature of Trump was intended as an insult, the outlet reported.

“Like all populists, the statue has two faces,” Tomaz Schlegl, the statue’s creator, said in August 2019, per The Guardian. “One is humane and nice, the other is that of a vampire.”

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