Bronze Melania Trump Statue Unveiled in Slovenia After Old Statue Was Burned
“With the Black Lives Matter protests, there’s been a tendency to rip down monuments, so I wanted to install a permanent one,” American artist Brad Downey said in a telephone interview from Slovenia on Wednesday.
Downey stated that although he doesn’t support President Trump and his anti-immigration views, he supports the first lady, whose immigrant origins are seemingly at odds with the president’s policies. “We’ve got a president who is against immigration, but his wife is an example of successful immigration,” Downey said.
The statue is one of the handful of tourist attractions in Sevnica, a small town in eastern Slovenia where Melania grew up. The town started offering Melania-themed tours, food, and clothes, attracting about 20,000 tourists a year.
Last year, Downey commissioned a local artist to carve Melania out of a tree trunk, depicting her waving and wearing an outfit similar to the light blue cashmere dress she wore to her husband’s inauguration in 2017. The statue was placed on the banks of Sevnica’s Sava river. A year later, the statue was burned.
He has since said he wanted to make a bronze replica, a desire that came to fruition on Tuesday. The new sculpture is life-size and monochrome, created by another Slovenian craftsman. It stands on the same tree trunk as the one before it.