A bronze statue representing US first lady Melania Trump has been unveiled in her native Slovenia to replace a wooden one that was set on fire in July.
- The arsonists behind the original statue’s destruction are yet to be found
- The replacement is dedicated to the “eternal memory of a monument to Melania which stood at this location”
- The new bronze statue bears no obvious resemblance to the first lady, as was the case with the first
The new sculpture is a replica of the original, which was carved by US artist Brad Downey, and was placed near the first lady’s hometown of Sevnica, in central Slovenia.
The original statue received mixed reviews following its unveiling.
The rustic figure was cut from the trunk of a linden tree, showing Ms Trump in a pale blue dress similar to the one she wore to her husband Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration.
Some Slovenians described the work as a “Smurfette” and “a disgrace”, the BBC reported.
Others found symbolism in the piece.
It was torched by unknown arsonists on July 4.
A plaque next to the new statue said it was “dedicated to the eternal memory of a monument to Melania which stood at this location”.
“We are here today because we put up again a statue of Melania to the place where it was burnt and to commemorate the statue that was set on fire,” said Slovenian artist Marko Vivoda.
The life-sized sculpture bears no obvious resemblance to the first lady.
Born Melanija Knavs in nearby Novo Mesto in 1970, Ms Trump grew up in Sevnica while Slovenia was part of the communist-ruled former Yugoslavia.
Her husband, Donald Trump, was last year honoured with his own Statue of Liberty in the Slovenian village of Sela pri Kamniku, around 30 kilometres north of the capital, Ljubljana.