A bronze statue of Melania Trump has been branded ‘hideous’ as it joins a long list of monuments dedicated to a celebrities or deities that bear little relation to their muses.
The new sculpture, erected close to her hometown of Sevnica in Slovenia, is a replica of a wooden effigy of the first lady that was torched by arsonists on July 4 – Independence Day in the US.
Created by Slovenian artist Ales ‘Maxi’ Zupevc, the misshapen figure appeared to show Trump wearing the iconic blue Ralph Lauren dress she wore at her husband’s 2017 presidential inauguration.
It featured a round wooden face, with stern eyes carved off-centre, a wonky flattened nose, thin lips, and a very long chin. Some may argue that it bears a striking resemblance to a botched restoration of Spanish masterpiece ‘Ecce Homo’ (Behold the Man), which has since affectionately been re-named ‘Monkey Christ’.
After it was burnt down, US artist Brad Downey was called in to recreate the work in bronze and the finished product was unveiled on Tuesday. A plaque next to it says it is ‘dedicated to the eternal memory of a monument to Melania which stood at this location.’
But critics are less than impressed by the latest lumpy statue, which bears no obvious relation to Trump, and has no facial features. It has been described as ‘terrifying’, a ‘piece of s**t’ and that it ‘looks like a kindergartner drew it’.
‘Just as hideous as the first one. What an “honor”,’ wrote one Reddit user, to which another responded: ‘I thought the first one was satire.’
‘The ugly statue of Melania Trump has been replaced with an ugly copy, this time in bronze,’ another said on Twitter, while one said burning the original ‘actually improved it last time’.
Another mocked: ‘I think the message is: “I have no idea what I’m doing, but I got the gig, so here goes”.’
It’s not the first time a celebrity or a deity has received a botched statue or portrait in their honour.
Cristiano Ronaldo fans were left reeling after a statue of the forward’s face was given pride of place in Madeira Airport, Portugal, in 2017. It was unveiled as part of a ceremony naming the airport in his native region after him.
The tribute left people across the world scratching their heads, but sculptor Emanuel Santos insisted his work was just ‘a matter of taste’.
Meanwhile, Spain has an unfortunate track record of botched attempts to restore art masterpieces.
The most infamous is perhaps the attempt to clean up the Ecce Homo or Monkey Christ.
In 2012, the small north-eastern Spanish town of Borja made headlines across the world after a parishioner attempted to restore Elías García Martínez’s work, painted in 1930.
But Jesus’ face came back blurry and resembling a cross between a potato and a monkey, said critics.
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