US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump upon their arrival at the AFS Palam in New Delhi, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. Trump is on a two-day visit to India. | PTI
File photo of US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump | PTI
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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”.

Also read: UK’s Boris Johnson government fumbles with the country’s anti-racism protests


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