Sevnica, Slovenia, the birthplace of first lady Melania Trump, now sports a life-sized statue of the hometown girl made good. It should fit nicely with the cottage industry of Melania trinkets, tours, and even Melania-themed food that’s sprung up in the area, according to an article about the statue published in The Guardian.
To be honest, I’m not sure if the freshly carved statue of Melania is meant to mock or praise her (you can see it below). According to Brad Downey, the conceptual artist who came up with the idea, the statue is intended to be an exploration of Melania’s Slovenian roots. He even went so far as to hire a local artist who was born in the same hospital and in the same year as America’s first lady to carve the statue. The artist, known as Maxi, used his chainsaw to produce a life-sized wooden statue that vaguely resembles a female human figure.
The figure is standing in a pose reminiscent of photos of Melania Trump during the inaugural festivities. This figure is also wearing what appears to be an attempt to replicate the now-famous powder-blue dress and jacket that the newly minted first lady was photographed wearing on inauguration day.
Even in the face of criticism, Downey insists that the piece is genuine in its intent to honor the first lady. Reflecting to AFP in Sevnica, Downey commented on the placement of the statue, saying, “You see this river that she would’ve seen as a child, you see the mountains.”
However, as I’ve already said, I can’t tell if this whole thing is meant to honor or mock our first lady. And I’m not the only one, with at least one Twitter user saying that the statue looks like, “a scarecrow.”
According to The Guardian article, at least some Sevnica residents share my skepticism:
Nika, a local 24-year-old architecture student, told AFP: “If the monument was meant to be a parody, then the artist has been successful.
“We in Sevnica can only laugh and, at the same time, hold our heads in our hands over their [the Trumps’] catastrophic reputation,” she added.
I’ll let you be the judge: mockery or praise?