Melania Trump Statue Returns in Slovenia. (This One Is Harder to Burn.)

Melania Trump Statue Returns in Slovenia. (This One Is Harder to Burn.)

2020-09-16 14:41:43
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When a wooden statue of Melania Trump was erected near her hometown in Slovenia last year, it was mocked as looking like a Smurfette or a scarecrow. Then it was set on fire.

Now, the artist who commissioned it is back with a new one — and this sculpture, made of bronze, is intended to have a more enduring legacy.

“With the Black Lives Matter protests, there’s been a tendency to rip down monuments, so I wanted to install a permanent one,” the artist, Brad Downey, an American, said in a telephone interview from Slovenia on Wednesday.

Although Mr. Downey said he did not support President Trump or his anti-immigrant policies, the artist said that Mrs. Trump’s origins obliquely contradicted her husband’s views. “We’ve got a president who is against immigration, but his wife is an example of successful immigration,” Mr. Downey said.

He said that he had long wanted to make a bronze replica, and that the anti-racism protests in the United States and overseas this year after the police killing of George Floyd had pushed him to do so.

The new sculpture — a life-size, monochrome work created by another Slovenian craftsman and unveiled by Mr. Downey on Tuesday — stands on the same tree trunk as the former one.

An attached plaque dedicates it to “the eternal memory of a monument to Melania which stood at this location.”


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