A bronze statue of the US first girl, Melania Trump, has been unveiled close to her hometown in Slovenia, to interchange a wood carving of her that was burnt in an arson assault two months in the past.

The brand new work – like the unique – is a collaboration between Brad Downey, a Berlin-based artist from Louisville, Kentucky, and an area craftsman, Ales “Maxi” Zupevc, who’ve invited residents of Melania’s hometown of Sevnica to see the work in close by Rozno, south-eastern Slovenia.

The bronze likeness has been positioned on the identical tree stump the place the wood statue stood earlier than it was badly broken. Modelled on the earlier design, Downey has mentioned he hopes it can now be more durable to destroy.

The artist pulls a green tarpaulin away from the statue, which sits on a tall tree stump
Ales Zupevc, the native craftsman who carved the primary statue utilizing a chainsaw, unveils the brand new bronze. {Photograph}: Borut Zivulovic/Reuters

Downey had known as the burning of the unique sculpture symbolic of “political tensions” within the US and “conceptualised as criticism” of Donald Trump’s politics.

The brand new determine had been designed to be “as stable as potential, out of a sturdy materials which can’t be wantonly destroyed”, he advised the German artwork journal Monopol in July.

Downey additionally defended himself towards accusations that he sanctioned the burning of the wood statue as a part of his inventive course of. “I neither set fireplace to the statue, nor did I fee anybody to take action.”

The charred and blistered stays of the wood art work by Zupevc, which was unveiled in July 2019, went on present at an artwork gallery within the Slovenian seaside resort of Koper earlier this month.

Referred to as Fuck Off Phantasm, the exhibition additionally offered the mould for the newest bronze model.

The curator, Karlo Hmeljak, mentioned the exhibition offered “all of the incarnations of this contradiction that is known as Melania” and mentioned “it’s not the ultimate phrase of what Melania will turn out to be sooner or later”, in what artwork critics took to be a robust trace that additional inventive interpretations could also be deliberate.

The wood sculpture was torched on four July, which is Independence Day within the US. Police are reportedly but to search out the perpetrators.

Zupevc mentioned he and Melania Trump had been born in the identical hospital and he had been impressed to carve the sculpture from the stays of a linden tree.

Donald Trump, wearing black, makes a thumbs-up gesture and Melania Trump, wearing a blue coat and gloves, waves
Donald and Melania Trump throughout the US president’s inaugural parade. {Photograph}: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Pictures

Zupevc mentioned in a documentary movie by Downey on the making of the statue: “I plugged in my angle grinder … I labored and made errors … completed the hair … the eyes and all. Then I known as my brother, who mentioned: ‘Spitting picture of our waitress.’ And so it was,” he mentioned, referring to Trump’s former ready job earlier than she emigrated to the US.

The ensuing statue, which Zupevc created with a chainsaw and sanded with an influence instrument, carving round a life-size picture template of the waving first girl at her husband’s inauguration, had been described as rustic and naive with expressionist facial options.

However the art work was ridiculed on social media and by some locals, drawing comparisons variously with a smurf, a scarecrow and the Virgin Mary, with some arguing the one resemblance between the determine and the real-life individual was the depiction of the duck-egg blue woollen coat she wore on the inauguration ceremony.