A statue of the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, as been removed after it was set on fire by vandals.

The said statue was placed near her hometown, in Sevnica, central Slovenia, and it was burned by vandals on July 5, according to the Slovenian Police.

Vandalized statue

The artist who commissioned the statue of Melania Trump, Brad Downey, said that the local police department called him about the incident. He was informed about what happened four days after the burning of the statue.

The statue of the First Lady was built in July 2019 and it was a part of a project that includes a documentary film about Melania Trump, as reported by CNN. 

On July 5, the burned statue was removed, and Downey state that he talked to the locals and asked them to not post pictures of the figure because he does not want it to become a meme on the internet for people to make fun of.

Downey filed police reported, but he is not interested in pressing charges. He said he only wants to know who did it and he wants to know why they did it.

Downey said that he is just curious and he thinks that the people who vandalized the statue does not like what it represents or how it looks. He also believes that the timing of the attack, which was on the weekend of US Independence Day, was not just a random act, as reported by BBC. 

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According to the Slovenian Police, the case is labeled as "damage to property" which is considered a criminal offense. Downey previously said that he was inspired to create Melania Trump's statue due to the anti-immigration narrative.

The said narrative is from President Donald Trump himself who showed contradiction because the main focus of his presidency is to stop immigration in the United States and yet he is married to an immigrant himself.

Downey commissioned Ales Zupevc, a local conceptual artist, who is better known as Maxi and was born in the same hospital and the same year as Melania Trump, to carve the statue from a tree using a chainsaw.

Even though media reports stated that the statue had divided public opinion, locals actually liked the project and they have looked after the statue and the area around it. Downey said that the locals were very supportive and were proud of the statue.

Next move

Downey is currently working on an artistic response to the vandalism of the statute and a video on how the media responded to the statue being burned down. He said that he will try to do something that shows how the media reported the incident and how the locals reacted.

The burned statue is now in storage and it is still unclear if they will make another one. In June, Downey released a book titled "Slapstick Formalism" and he is preparing for a new exhibition in Slovenia in September, according to The Washington Post.

Sevnica, Melania Trump's town, has 5,000 residents and has profited from Melania Trump's worldwide fame as the First Lady of the United States. They have enjoyed an increase in their tourism rates and the town had been selling a range of Melania-themed products including honey, cake, and chocolate.

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