Melania Trump Statue Returns in Slovenia. (This One Won’t Burn.)

When a wood statue of Melania Trump was erected close to her hometown in Slovenia final 12 months, it was mocked as trying like a Smurfette or a scarecrow. Then it was set on fireplace.

Now, the artist who commissioned it’s again with a brand new one — and this sculpture, fabricated from bronze, is meant to have a extra enduring legacy.

“With the Black Lives Matter protests, there’s been a tendency to rip down monuments, so I wanted to install a permanent one,” the artist, Brad Downey, an American, mentioned in a phone interview from Slovenia on Wednesday.

Although Mr. Downey mentioned he didn’t assist President Trump or his anti-immigrant insurance policies, the artist mentioned that Mrs. Trump’s origins obliquely contradicted her husband’s views. “We’ve got a president who is against immigration, but his wife is an example of successful immigration,” Mr. Downey mentioned.

The sculpture is one among a number of vacationer attracts which have arisen in Sevnica, a city of 5,000 individuals in jap Slovenia the place Mrs. Trump grew up, in the time since her husband started his 2016 presidential election marketing campaign. Since he grew to become the front-runner, the city has organized Melania-themed tours and bought Melania wine, Melania slippers and Melania salami — and attracted 20,000 guests a 12 months in the method.

Last 12 months, Mr. Downey commissioned an area folks artist to carve a rustic sculpture of Mrs. Trump out of a tree trunk, depicting the primary woman waving her hand and carrying an outfit that evoked the powder-blue cashmere gown she wore at her husband’s inauguration in 2017. The folks artist was born in the identical hospital as Mrs. Trump — and across the similar time — and Mr. Downey had interviewed him for a movie about immigration.

The statue was erected on the banks of the Sava river close to Sevnica. But in July, a 12 months after its set up, arsonists set the sculpture on fire, damaging its face.

Credit…Brad Downey

Mr. Downey had the charred sculpture moved to his short-term studio in Slovenia shortly afterward, and has since exhibited the broken work in a seaside city close to Sevnica.

He mentioned that he had lengthy needed to make a bronze duplicate, and that the anti-racism protests in the United States and abroad this 12 months after the police killing of George Floyd had pushed him to take action.

The new sculpture — a life-size, monochrome work created by one other Slovenian craftsman and unveiled by Mr. Downey on Tuesday — stands on the identical tree trunk as the previous one.

An connected plaque dedicates it to “the eternal memory of a monument to Melania which stood at this location.”

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Shekh Shahrukh

Shekh Shahrukh is a digital marketer, Entrepreneur, and a Journalism student at Delhi University. A news writer by day and news seeker by night, he is loathed to discuss himself in a third person but can be persuaded to do so from time to time.

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