Arsonists Torch Controversial Donald Trump Statue In Melania Trump's Home Country

Arsonists in Slovenia, the home country of first lady Melania Trump, on Thursday torched a wooden sculpture of her husband, President Donald Trump.

The 26-foot Statue of Liberty-style work mocking the U.S. president by architect and artist Tomaz Schlegl is shown engulfed in flames in various photos and videos. There were no immediate arrests.

Moravce Mayor Milan Balazic described the arson as a “symbol of intolerance toward artistic projects in our society,” reported The Associated Press.

A wooden sculpture of Donald Trump was set alight in Slovenia early Thursday morning. (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
A wooden sculpture of Donald Trump was set alight in Slovenia early Thursday morning. (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Schlegl unveiled his sculpture in the village of Sela pri Kamniku in August. He described the work as a swipe at the populist politics of some world leaders, including Trump.

“For the first time since World War II populism is prevailing: look at [British Prime Minister Boris] Johnson, look at Trump, our president or [Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor] Orban. Where is this world heading?” Schlegl told Agence France-Presse at the time.

The artist earlier floated the idea of burning the piece on Halloween.

“I believe these attacks are understandable bearing in mind what’s happening in the world,” Schlegl told AFP on Thursday.

He did not immediately reply to HuffPost’s request for comment on the arson.

The stature of Trump had split opinion among locals and had been the target of at least one previous arson attack. (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
The stature of Trump had split opinion among locals and had been the target of at least one previous arson attack. (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The artwork attracted tourists and divided opinion.

A farmer attempted to drive a tractor into the piece. Previous arsonists unsuccessfully tried to burn it down, reported Slovenia’s national broadcaster RTV Slovenija.

The statue was moved in December to the nearby village of Moravce, in a bid to boost visitors to the area, where it was set alight early Thursday.

Local broadcasters shared video on YouTube of it burning:

Here’s what it looked like before:

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Architect and artist Tomaz Schlegl unveiled his 26-foot-high Statue of Liberty-style depiction of the U.S. president in the village of Sela pri Kamniku in August. (Photo: JURE MAKOVEC via Getty Images)
Architect and artist Tomaz Schlegl unveiled his 26-foot-high Statue of Liberty-style depiction of the U.S. president in the village of Sela pri Kamniku in August. (Photo: JURE MAKOVEC via Getty Images)
The sculpture was moved to another nearby village in December. (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
The sculpture was moved to another nearby village in December. (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Sculptor Ales “Maxi” Zupevc’s chainsaw-sculpted wooden statue of the first lady near Sevnica remains unharmed:

Conceptual artist Ales "Maxi" Zupevc unveiled this wooden sculpture of first lady Melania near Sevnica last year. (Photo: JURE MAKOVEC via Getty Images)
Conceptual artist Ales "Maxi" Zupevc unveiled this wooden sculpture of first lady Melania near Sevnica last year. (Photo: JURE MAKOVEC via Getty Images)

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