- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 8, 2020

A statue of first lady Melania Trump near her Slovenian hometown was set ablaze on July 4 as Americans celebrated Independence Day and President Trump condemned attacks on historical statues here.

The life-sized wooden sculpture near Sevnica was torched and later ordered removed by the artist who commissioned the statue.

“I want to know why they did it,” Brad Downey, a Berlin-based American artist, told Reuters news agency.

Mr. Downey, 39, told Reuters that he had hoped the statue would highlight Mrs. Trump’s status as an immigrant to the U.S., adding that he’d like to interview the culprits for a film he’s working on.

He told the British wire service that he learned of the desecration from Slovenian police on the 5th and accordingly filed a complaint.

“The investigation in this case has not been completed yet so we cannot reveal details due to the interest of further procedures,” police spokeswoman Alenka Drenik told Reuters.

The statue was carved by local folk artist Ales Zupevc, using a chainsaw, out of a single tree trunk, the news agency reported.

Mr. Trump also had a wooden statue carved by a Slovenian artist and put on display in the city of Moravce. But it too was burned in January, according to Reuters.

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