A life-sized wood-carved statue of US First Lady Melania Trump erected in her hometown Sevnica, Slovenia has received mixed reactions. Described as a true likeliness by US artist Brad Downey and local chainsaw artisan Ales Zupevc, the statue was carved out of a single tree trunk.
The first public monument dedicated to Donald Trump’s wife, the statue features Melania in the powder blue dress she wore to Trump’s inauguration in 2017. But some of those who have seen it are complaining that it looks nothing like her. That is not entirely surprising, considering that the medium for the sculpture is a tree.
Stating that the statue was “positively ghoulish”, “a disgrace” and “looked like a scarecrow” locals said it resembled Smurfette more than its actual subject. Within days of the first images of the statue appearing on social media, the internet reacted with jokes and memes – with several people on Twitter sarcastically praising it for being a true likeliness. “If it was intended as a parody, the artist was successful,” wrote one Twitter user.
Reacting to the criticism, however, Downey told AFP, “I can understand why people might think that this falls short as a description of her physical appearance.”
With her first statue, the US first lady joins a long list of unfortunate sculptural homages to famous people.