Melania's bronze statue replaces burned wooden likeness in Slovenia, Internet says 'don't know which is worse'

The original statue, cut from the trunk of a linden tree and designed with a chainsaw, was set on fire on July 4

                            Melania's bronze statue replaces burned wooden likeness in Slovenia, Internet says 'don't know which is worse'
(Getty Images)

Months after Melania Trump's wooden statue was torched near her hometown of Sevnica, Slovenia, a new statue has been unveiled. The new statue is not made of wood, but of bronze and replicates the original one. Slovenian artist Marko Vivoda said, “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.” A plaque next to the new statue stated, “dedicated to the eternal memory of a monument to Melania which stood at this location.”

The original statue was set on fire on July 4 while the people of the United States celebrated Independence Day. It was commissioned by Berlin-based American artist Brad Downey. It was cut from the trunk of a linden tree and designed by local folk artist Ales Zupevc with a chainsaw. When the life-size rough figure, which was erected in July 2019, was burned, Downey said, “I want to know why they did it.” Downey had hoped the sculpture would promote a dialogue about the political situation in America, highlighting Melania’s status as an immigrant wife of a president who is anti-immigration.

Though the new statue is a replica of the earlier one, the two have differences as well. The wooden figure showed Melania in a pale blue wraparound dress, similar to the one she wore during Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration in January 2017. But the new carving of the 50-year-old erected on top of a 9-foot-high wooden pillar has no color. Also, the face of the statue has no resemblance to the first lady of America, The Daily Mail reported.

Melania was born in Novo Mesto in 1970 as Melanija Knavs. However, later she changed her name's spelling to 'Melania Knauss' when she started her career in modeling. She went on to settle in the US in the 1990s and met Trump in 1998. The couple exchanged vows in 2005 and share a 14-year-old son, Barron Trump. Shortly after the news of Melania’s new statue came out, people started making fun of it online. “Beautiful! Perfect rendering of an empty woman with no face or personality,” one person wrote on Facebook. “This is a joke right ?” commented another one. The third person added: “Looks like something the kindergartner class made”.

Not just on Facebook, people on Twitter also slammed both the first lady as well as her bronze statue. Comparing the earlier figure with the recent one, a social media user tweeted: “I don't know which of the two is worse, the original or the replacement.  But the creator captures Melania's total woodenness very well @UppityWomanBlog @NoEmptySuits”. Another one said: “Melania's home country hates her. They burned down the 1st wooden statue within days it being erected. This bronze statue will probably disappear in a river. I hope. Just a suggestion.” Still another wrote: “They’re so classy. I’m hoping for some of Junior’s trophy elephant tusks and a bronze statue from Melania’s nude modeling career,” commented a person on Twitter.




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