World & Nation

A life-size wood sculpture of Melania Trump is unveiled in her native Slovenia

People gather around a sculpture of First Lady Melania Trump, set in the fields near her hometown of Sevnica, Slovenia.
(Jure Makovec / AFP/Getty Images)

The likeness of Melania Trump has been carved in wood in her native Slovenia.

A life-size sculpture of the U.S. first lady has been unveiled in her hometown of Sevnica, drawing mixed reactions from the locals.

The rustic figure was cut from the trunk of a linden tree, showing her in a pale blue dress like the one she wore at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration. Her face is depicted in a naive local style.

It is the work of U.S. artist Brad Downey, who is also showing photos of the statue in an exhibition in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana.


“This seems a very interesting thing to show to the people,” the curator of the exhibition, Jani Pirnat, said. “It expresses the topic that is somehow hanging in the air.”

The first lady, born Melanija Knaus, changed her name to Melania Knauss when she started modeling. She settled in New York in 1996 and met Trump two years later.

Since the inauguration, the first lady has triggered mixed reactions in Slovenia, including adoration as well as criticism that she has not done enough to promote her small Alpine state. She has not publicly visited Slovenia since the inauguration in 2017.

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