On America's Independence Day and a week after President Trump signed an executive order to protect federal monuments from vandalism, a life-sized sculpture of first lady Melania Trump was burned near her hometown of Sevnica, Slovenia.
Brad Downey, an American Berlin-based artist, told Reuters police contacted him on July 5th about hooligans who torched his sculpture of the first lady. He said the statue was "blackened and disfigured" - and police removed it the next day.
A statue depicting Melania Trump was removed from where it stood near the first lady's hometown in Slovenia after after it was set on fire and badly scorched on the 4th of July. https://t.co/LeIdgRpNj2 pic.twitter.com/dUY97SGHKB— ABC News (@ABC) July 10, 2020
"I want to know why they did it," Downey said, adding that he would like to interview the arsonist for an upcoming film he is working on.
Police spokeswoman Alenka Drenik said the investigation "has not been completed yet, so we cannot reveal details due to the interest of further procedures.
The wooden statue of the first lady was unveiled last year - it depicts the first lady as she stood at President Donald Trump's inauguration day - wearing a light blue coat and waving her left hand.
A resident of Sevnica told Reuters in 2019 that the statue "does not look as beautiful as she normally is."
Downey told CNN locals had been nothing but "supportive" about the statue. They were really proud of this thing."
Before the virus pandemic, a wooden statue mocking President Trump was burnt in Slovenia's city of Moravce.