Melania Trump statue burned in Slovenia

File: American conceptual artist Brad Downey erected the life-sized statue near US First Lady Melania Trump's hometown of Sevnica a year ago.

File: American conceptual artist Brad Downey erected the life-sized statue near US First Lady Melania Trump's hometown of Sevnica a year ago.

AFP

LJUBLJANA - The US artist behind a wooden statue of Melania Trump in Slovenia said that he was mulling an "artistic response" after his work was burned down at the weekend.

American conceptual artist Brad Downey erected the life-sized statue near the US First Lady's hometown of Sevnica a year ago as part of a project aimed at exploring her roots.

But the statue sparked mixed reactions. While some saw it as an effective parody, others said it looked like a scarecrow and should be removed.

Slovenian police said they were now probing the July 5 burning down of the statue.

READ: Statue on Slovenia's Melania tourist trail divides opinion

"Unknown perpetrators tried to burn down the wooden statue in the early hours of July 5," police spokesman Robert Perc told AFP.

Downey, who coincidentally was in Slovenia when the statue was set on fire, managed to rush to Sevnica and remove it before pictures of the damaged sculpture went viral.

"I would not like pictures of the horrific burnt face to become a 'meme'," the 40-year-old artist told AFP, dismissing media speculation that he himself had burned it down as part of his project.

He said the attack may have been linked to the July 4 US Independence Day celebrations.

"I think I should make an artistic reply... I'm hoping to," Downey added, but declined to give further details.

Source
AFP