While United States President Donald Trump continues to raise his voice against disfigurement or destruction of monuments and statues in the country, a sculpture of his wife, Melania Trump, in her native Slovenia is the latest to become a target of vandalism.
A wooden sculpture of first lady Melania Trump located near her hometown of Sevnica, Slovenia, was set on fire on the night of July 4, when the Americans were celebrating US Independence Day.
The sculpture erected in July 2019 showed the mother-of-one gesturing her hand towards the sky, but the face was rough-hewn and bore only a crude similarity to Melania. It was carved with a chainsaw by local folk artist Ales Zupevc from the trunk of a living linden tree and painted with a pale blue wraparound coat resembling the one the first lady wore at the swearing-in of her husband as the president of the United States.
Brad Downey, the artist who commissioned the sculpture, revealed that he had the life-sized sculpture removed on July 5, soon after the police informed him about it being in a blackened and disfigured state. "I want to know why they did it," Downey told Reuters about the incident.
The Berlin-based American artist had commissioned the statue in the hope that it would foster a dialogue about the political situation in the US, highlighting Melania's status as an immigrant married to a president sworn to reduce immigration.
Downey added that he has also filed a police report in the matter, and if the culprits are caught, he would like to interview them for a film that he is preparing ahead of his exhibition which is due to open in Slovenia in September. Meanwhile, police spokeswoman Alenka Drenik told the agency: "The investigation in this case has not been completed yet so we cannot reveal details due to the interest of further procedures."
The first couple or the White House is yet to comment on the vandalism in Slovenia, which comes just months after a statue of the POTUS was burnt in a different part of the country. A wooden sculpture resembling Donald Trump designed by a local artist in Moravce, Slovenia in 2019 was burnt in January this year.