New Delhi: A wooden statue of US First Lady Melania Trump in her hometown of Sevnica, Slovenia, was torched on the night of 4 July, as Americans celebrated their independence day, reported Reuters.
Berlin-based American artist Brad Downey, who commissioned the artwork, had “the life-sized blackened, disfigured sculpture removed as soon as police informed him on July 5th of the incident,” the report said. Downey had hoped that a statue of the US First Lady, an immigrant married to Donald Trump who has made his views on immigrants clear, would help create a conversation and dialogue around the political situation in the US.
While the office of Melania Trump did not immediately respond to queries put forth by Reuters, Downey said, “I want to know why they did it.” The 39-year-old has filed a police report and hopes to interview the culprits for a film he is working on ahead of his exhibition that is set for a September opening in Slovenia.
Carved with a chainsaw from the trunk of a living linden tree by local folk artist Ales Zupevc, the statue’s face was “rough-hewn and unrecognizable prior to the fire” but it was painted to evoke the pale blue coat that Melania Trump wore when Donald Trump was sworn in as president in January 2017.
Police spokeswoman Alenka Drenik told Reuters, “The investigation in this case has not been completed yet so we cannot reveal details due to the interest of further procedures.”
Earlier this year in January, a large wooden statue resembling Donald Trump, designed by a local artist, was burnt in Slovenia’s city of Moravce.
In the past few weeks, statues of many historical figures and Confederate leaders have been pulled down across the US for their links with racism and colonialism. On this, President Trump “has pledged to take a hard line on anyone destroying or vandalizing U.S. historical monuments”.
News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.