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Melania Trump bronze replaces wooden statue damaged by arsonists

September 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

A bronze statue of Melania Trump has been put up near her hometown in Slovenia to replace a wooden version which was damaged in an arson attack in July.

A bronze statue of Melania Trump has been put up near her hometown in Slovenia to replace a wooden version which was damaged in an arson attack in July.

Artist Brad Downey unveiled the bronze statue Tuesday near Sevnica, the small town in central Slovenia where the US First Lady grew up.

Downey told CNN that he had always intended to make a bronze version of the statue to exhibit in an institutional setting, but decided to put it to replace the wooden sculpture after it was badly burned.

Downey explained that the local residents had been very supportive of the work, and he had installed the bronze as a "donation" to them.

The work is inspired by propaganda monuments, such as those installed by Russian Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin after the 1917 Revolution, said Downey, stating that the wooden sculpture was "a monument that critiqued monumentalism. "

Downey commissioned the wooden sculpture from local conceptual artist Ales Zupevc, better known as Maxi, who was born in the same hospital and the same year as Melania.

While Zupevc was not involved in making the bronze, Downey did invite him to unveil it at a ceremony Tuesday.

Downey previously told CNN that he was inspired to create the piece due to what he called the "anti-immigration narrative" coming out of the US and from Donald Trump in particular.

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