Published: Sat, July 06, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Statue of Melania Trump unveiled near Slovenian hometown

Statue of Melania Trump unveiled near Slovenian hometown

First Lady Melania Trump's Slovenian home town is paying a tribute to her as a "Slovenian hero" with a wood-carved statue that has raised some eyebrows, with some decrying it as a "scarecrow".

United States artist Brad Downey hired a local chainsaw artisan, Ales Zupevc, to carve the likeness out of a tree trunk.

The blocky, rustic figure was cut from the trunk of a living linden tree - whose base forms a tall plinth - in a field beside the Sava River in the village of Rozno, eight km (five miles) from Sevnica.

Mr Downey told AFP: "I can understand why people might think that this falls short as a description of her physical appearance".

Mr Downey already has an exhibition in the capital Ljubljana, which explores the first lady's Slovenian heritage, and this new piece serves as an accompaniment to it.

After Melania cake, Melania honey, and even Melania slippers, Sevnica, the Slovenian hometown of the US's first lady now boasts a Melania statue, by conceptual artist Ales "Maxi" Zupevc that has drawn mixed reviews.

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The town welcomed the opportunity to cater to the tourists, reportedly offering a series of Melania Trump-branded food and other items.

Downey said on Instagram that both Maxi and Melania were born on the same year and in the same hospital, "but their lives have taken drastically different directions".

A local 24-year-old architecture student named Nika told AFP: "If the monument was meant to be a parody, then the artist has been successful".

"Good to see Melania Trump wearing her gay pride dress today", one Twitter user wrote. "We in Sevnica can only laugh and, at the same time, hold our heads in our hands over their (the Trumps') catastrophic reputation".

"Melania is a Slovenian hero, she made it to the top in the USA", she said.

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