In a truly despicable act a group of thug haters launched a vicious attack against first lady Melania Trump that she did not deserve.
A wooden statue of the first lady in her hometown in Slovenia was set on fire this week in an apparent act of protest, and it has now been removed, CNN reported.
Brad Downey, the artist who commissioned the piece, told CNN Thursday that he received a call from the local police department asking him what to do with the statue, which was made in July 2019 as part of an ongoing project that includes a short documentary film.
The statue was removed on July 5, and Downey said he asked locals not to distribute photos of the scorched figure so it did not become a “violent meme.”
Downey has filed a police report but said he is only interested in finding the attackers, not pressing charges against them.
The artist told The New York Times that he is interested in finding the attackers to include them in part of a new project.
“There’s a lot of buzz around the destruction of monuments, so it could come from left-leaning people,” Downey said.
But, he said, it could have also come from right wingers who did not like how the statue looked.
“Or it could be from right-leaning people, because they don’t like how it looks or think it’s disrespectful, aesthetically,” he said.
Either way tearing down, burning or otherwise vandalizing a statue you do not like is not the way a civilized person should handle themselves.
Mr. Downey had said that the statue was torched on July 4, but a spokesman for the police in Sevnica said that the blaze was started in the early hours of July 5. In an email, the spokesman, Robert Perc, added that investigations were continuing.
Standing nine feet tall on the banks of the Sava, a major river in Slovenia, the sculpture drew mixed reactions when it was unveiled: with its rough-hewed features and naïve appearance, locals deemed it grotesque or said it looked like a scarecrow. But Mr. Downey said that people there generally liked the sculpture and had taken care of it — until last weekend.
“The face is burned but the features are intact — we can still see the face,” the artist said. He now has the statue in storage.
But, not to be deterred, Downey said he plans on showcasing the statue, burned and all, during another exhibit.
“The blue dress is still all blue,” the artist said. He said that he believes tires were put around the head and neck, gasoline was poured on it and then it was set ablaze.
It follows the destruction of a statue of President Donald Trump in Slovenia that occurred in January, the Times reported.
Downey is no fan of trump and said that his work was “contextual public art,” and intended to question President Trump’s anti-immigration and, what he called, “heavy rhetoric of xenophobia.”
“I had also made a silicon mold of it, just out of precaution,” the Berlin based artist said. “The statue is still here.”