A new monument of Melania Trump has been built in her hometown of Sevnica, Slovenia, and its creators are calling it the first public statue in commemoration of her. The idea came to Brad Downey, an artist from Kentucky, who commissioned Sevnica local and “amateur chainsaw sculptor” Ales “Maxi” Zupevc to carve it. According to Downeys Instagram, the statue will be the subject of a documentary and exhibition he is working on.

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My film “Melania” now online, link in bio: ———- “Melania“ (monument) as part of “This Echo” at Vžigalica Galerija. 7. 2019–25. 8.2019——————————————————————- “Melania” 2019, Sevenica, Slovenia Digital video 12:11 min ___________________________________________________ “Brad Downey’s new ongoing project ”Melania” is a documentary film consisting of several parts about the construction of a monument of Melania Trump, carved into a tree that is still rooted in her hometown of Sevnica, Slovenia. The current First Lady of the USA was born on April 26, 1970 in Novo mesto in the then Yugoslav republic of Slovenia. The sculpture of the president’s wife is made by a local pipe layer and amateur chainsaw sculptor named Maxi. Both Maxi and Melania were born on the same year in the same hospital, but their lives have taken drastically different directions. For the film, Downey and his team spent several months filming interviews with Maxi along with locations around the town. The result is a personal portrait of Maxi and his thoughts about Slovenia, the USA, Europe, immigration and class division. Through these interviews the film attempts to capture the spirit of Slovenia, which seems to be mirrored in Maxi’s interactions with his family, environment and his feelings about art, God, love, and country. By focusing on one working class man’s portrayal of a public and internationally known personality, the film offers insights on local and global problems and policies illuminated by the USA and Europe and beyond.” thanks: Aljaž Celarc , Miha and Jaka Erjavec #firstlady #slovenia #sevnica #AljažCelarc #immigration #refugees

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The statue depicts the First Lady on Inauguration Day in 2017, wearing a blue dress designed by Ralph Lauren and waving at crowds. Zupevc took to a tree and carved the statue with a chainsaw.

Critics have mocked the statue, comparing it to a scarecrow.

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“I can understand why people might think that this falls short as a description of her physical appearance,” Downey told AFP.

“We in Sevnica can only laugh and, at the same time, hold our heads in our hands over the Trumps’ catastrophic reputation,” one local resident identified as Nika, a 24-year-old architecture student, told AFP. Other locals that spoke with the British TV network ITV, described the statue as ” a disgrace,” and argued it looked more like Smurfette than the First Lady.

Residents have also sold Melania Trump-themed food and merchandize.