Remember the wooden statue of Melania Trump that was commissioned by the American artist Brad Downey and handcrafted by Aleš Župevc, the one got burned down, just like the one of her husband?
Now vandals will have to rely on dynamite or a tow truck to remove the intriguing figure, which has been returned to its pedestal in Rožno, a hamlet about 8 km outside Melania’s hometown of Sevnica, in a new, more resilient bronze form, along with a plaque that reads “dedicated to the eternal memory of a monument to Melania which stood at this location”.
The bronze reproduction of the original is said to have cost Brad Downey around 10,000 euros, and - like the wooden version - has not been met with universal acclaim. A spokesperson for the Municipality of Sevnica, while expressing thanks for the publicity Melania Trump has generated for area, added that although artistic expression is "the free will of each individual, as long as it does not interfere with the dignity of another individual, but...the sculpture that has been erected, removed and now re-erected does not reflect these values. Even worse, it is completely inappropriate, and we believe that opinion is shared by the majority of the residents of Sevnica. In addition, the Municipality of Sevnica is associated with this project completely involuntarily, as the installation area actually lies outside its borders."
If you’d like to see more of Downey’s work then you’re in luck, as until 30 September 2020 you can visit a retrospective of his work in Koper with the title “Fuck off Illusion”. It can be found in Libertas, the former salt warehouse in Koper, with more details here.