A statue of first lady Melania Trump was set on fire on July 5 in her hometown Sevnica in central Slovenia. After the act, commissioner of the piece Brad Downey asked the people of the town not to post photos of the statue on fire in order to keep it from becoming a “violent meme.”

Downey told CNN that he had received a call from police asking him what to do with the statue after it had been set ablaze. He asked them to remove it and posted a video of the statue of Melania being lifted from its perch on Instagram.

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Downy explained that while he had filed a police report he is not looking to press charges and only wants to find out who the vandals are. He said, “I would be curious to see who did it. Someone doesn’t like what it represents or how it looks.” He went on to explain that since the attack took place on the weekend of the United States’ Independence Day, he does not believe it was a coincidental “drunken act.”

The Slovenian Police said that the incident is considered a crime as it is a “damage to property which is a criminal offense.”

Downey had commissioned the statue in July 2019 and was inspired to do so by the “anti-immigration narrative” coming from the United States at the time. Especially from President Donald Trump. He explained that it was a “contradiction” for Trump to have such harsh rules on immigrants when his own wife and first lady of the country is an immigrant herself. 

Sevnica has a population of about 5,000 and has recently become a major tourist attraction highlighting its most famous native Melania. The town has took advantage of this opportunity by selling Melania-themed products such as honey, chocolate and cake.

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