Trump statue burned to ground in Slovenia

Statue’s destruction dubbed a ‘symbol of intolerance toward artistic projects in our society’ by mayor

Vincent Wood
Thursday 09 January 2020 16:00
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Trump statue burned to ground in Slovenia

A statue of Donald Trump designed to highlight the dangers of populism has been burned to the ground in Slovenia after agitating locals authorities.

The towering 26-foot figure showed the US president, complete with his trademark blonde hair hair, red tie and blue suit, raising his arm high in the air with a clenched fist in a pose reminiscent of the statue of liberty.

And while on weekdays the likeness would remain a relatively calm representation of the 73-year-old, on weekends its closed mouth would, powered by a mechanism inside the sculpture, give way to a row of jagged, shark-like teeth.

However authorities have said they are now looking for an arsonist responsible for torching the artwork, which was found engulfed in flames on 9 January.

Milan Balazic, the mayor of Moravce, said that unknown arsonists burned it – adding that the act was a "symbol of intolerance toward artistic projects in our society."

The work was designed by artist Tomaz Schlegl to be a commentary on populism – with the creator saying at the time “I designed the statue because people have forgotten what the Statue of Liberty stands for.

“I want to alert people to the rise of populism, and it would be difficult to find a bigger populist in this world than Donald Trump.”

However even at its inception it faced opposition from locals – with one driving his tractor into the statue before it was completed on private land in the village of Sela pri Kamniku.

After repeated threats to raze the figure to the ground from those who lived in the area, it was moved to the nearby Moravce – where it was ultimately set alight five months after its creation.

The depiction of the President in the eastern European country followed on from a statue Melania Trump – who was born Melanija Knavs in the country in 1970.

Ms Trump’s likeness, a life sized sculpture cut from the trunk of a Linden tree with a chainsaw under the direction of US conceptual artist Brad Downey, was unveiled in her home town of Sevnica last year – however the free form representation was not beloved by all, with some saying it bore a closer resemblance to a scarecrow than the first lady.

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