Sun, Sep 01, 2019 - Page 5 News List

Slovenian artist unveils ‘two-faced’ Trump statue

AP, SELA PRI KAMNIKU, Slovenia

A wooden statue resembling US President Donald Trump is pictured near Kamnik, Slovenia, on Friday.

Photo: AP

A large wooden statue of US President Donald Trump has been erected in Slovenia, the homeland of his wife, Melania.

The nearly 8m-high construction shows Trump with his trademark hair style, blue suit, white shirt and a long red tie. His right arm — fist clenched — is raised high like that of New York’s Statue of Liberty.

When triggered, a mechanism opens a red-painted mouth and shark-like teeth appear.

“Like all populists, the statue has two faces,” its creator, Tomaz Schlegl, said. “One is humane and nice, the other is that of a vampire.”

The monument was built on private property among the lush greens and rolling hills of the sleepy village of Sela pri Kamniku, about 30km northeast of the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana.

The statue has a temporary permit and has to be removed by Halloween, Oct. 31.

Some local villagers, unhappy with its appearance, have suggested torching it that day.

“I thought it will be a sculpture, one statue,” said Stane Supar, who owns land where it stands. “But now this huge thing has grown and everyone tells me it’s a provocation.”

Schlegel, an architect, defended his project, saying it is “provocation against populism that the world is full of.”

“It is the Statue of Liberty, which no one today knows what it represents,” he said. “The pose is that of Superman. He can do and say whatever he wants without consequences.”

Two American tourists on Friday visited the remote corner of Slovenia after hearing about the statue.

“It seems like a really unusual location for a piece of art like this,” said Eddie Flawer from Santa Rosa, California.

“I’m not very fond of Donald Trump and I didn’t know what to make of his hand up and doing the salute and the spikes coming out of the top of his head,” Flawer said.

“But maybe it’s a metaphor of the Statue of Liberty, which would make some sense, since he seems to be doing everything in his power to negate the beauty and the spirit of the Statue of Liberty,” he said.

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