One day after President Donald Trump vowed to protect monuments honoring the country’s most endearing leaders in an Independence Day speech, someone targeted a sculpture of first lady Melania Trump in her home country of Slovenia.
Reuters reported a life-sized sculpture honoring the country’s European-born first lady was set on fire, leaving the wooden figure charred and disfigured.
The act of vandalism occurred on Saturday in the city of Rozno, near Melania’s hometown of Sevnica.
It was removed by local authorities the following day.
Images of the figure were circulating on social media.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 9, 2020
Melania Trump sculpture in Slovenia set on fire on US Independence Day https://t.co/KKPOAvzFTY
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) July 8, 2020
American artist Brad Downey commissioned the sculpture last year.
It then was carved from the trunk of a living tree with a chainsaw by local folk artist Ales Zupevc.
Downey told Reuters he was informed of the statue’s desecration by police.
He said he wants to know who attacked the sculpture and why.
“I want to know why they did it,” Downey said, adding he hoped the sculpture would lead to a conversation about American immigration.
The American artist reportedly is scheduling a film exhibition and had planned to use the wood sculpture.
The Hill reported on the statue when it was unveiled last July.
“The life-sized statue depicts Trump in the blue outfit she wore to her husband’s presidential inauguration in 2017 and shows her raising her left hand in a waving gesture,” the outlet reported.
“I can understand why people might think that this falls short as a description of her physical appearance,” he said.
An investigation is underway to determine who attacked the statue.
“The investigation in this case has not been completed yet, so we cannot reveal details due to the interest of further procedures,” a local police representative told Reuters.
The attack on the first lady’s statue came as monuments across the country have been toppled, defaced or otherwise targeted for removal in recent weeks amid a campaign by leftist activists to take down symbols of American history.
President Trump has vowed to protect such monuments.
“I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues – and combatting recent Criminal Violence. Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!” he tweeted on June 26.
I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues – and combatting recent Criminal Violence. Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2020
The president’s own statue burned down in the city of Moravce, Slovenia, in January, Reuters reported.
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