Melania Trump statue unveiled in Slovenia to mixed reviews

A statue of first lady Melania Trump was unveiled Friday near her hometown in Slovenia that has definitely raised eyebrows.

The life-size wooden sculpture was made from the trunk of a linden tree and stands in a field next to the Sava River in the village of Rozno, which is about five miles from the first lady’s hometown of Sevnica.

The statue's face bears no likeness to her, but the piece does feature Trump wearing a blue coat, similar to the one she had on at her husband’s presidential inauguration in 2017.

The piece was commissioned by Berlin-based American artist Brad Downey and is part of his exhibition examining the first lady's ancestry in Slovenia. A local artist named Ales "Maxi" Zupevc carved it with a chainsaw.

"Both Maxi and Melania were born on the same year in the same hospital, but their lives have taken drastically different directions," read a description about a documentary on the project.

"I don't know her personally, but she's my age," Maxi says in the film. "We were both born in April. All the more reason to make the statue. Being born the same year, the same month. She might come and see the thing. She might like it."

Maxi also knows while their backgrounds are similar, they have little else in common.

"Let's face it, she owns half of America while I have nothing," he said.

The statue has people scratching their heads. "Perhaps we are simply trying vigorously to make sense of things that might only be a slapstick prank," the gallery hosting Downey's exhibition said in a brochure. "Who knows?"

The unorthodox piece has caused a stir. Residents called it "a disgrace" and a "Smurfette," while noting "it doesn't look anything like Melania," reported the BBC.

On Twitter, some weren't shy to express their opinions.

"The internet IS trying to kill me. I howled," one user wrote, adding a laughing emoji.

Another wrote, "Words fail me. Was it supposed to be a parody, or an honest effort to honor her?"

"I can understand why people might think that this falls short as a description of her physical appearance," Downey told AFP. Despite that, he said the work is "absolutely beautiful."

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Melania Trump statue
In this Friday, July 5, 2019 photo, a sculpture created by American artist Brad Downey depicting Melania Trump is seen in her hometown in Sevnica, 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. (AP Photo/Miro Majcen)
In this Friday, July 5, 2019 photo, a sculpture created by American artist Brad Downey depicting Melania Trump is seen in her hometown in Sevnica, 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. (AP Photo/Miro Majcen)
People take pictures of sculpture by conceptual artist Ales 'Maxi' Zupevc, who claims is the first ever monument of Melania Trump, set in the fields near town of Sevnica, US First Ladys hometown, during a small inauguration celebration on July 5, 2019. - After Melania cake, Melania honey, and even Melania slippers, the Slovenian hometown of the US's first lady will now boast a statue of its most famous daughter -- albeit one which has faced decidedly mixed reviews. The life-size statue on the outskirts of Sevnica was inaugurated on July 5, 2019. (Photo by Jure Makovec / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JURE MAKOVEC/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on July 5, 2019 shows what conceptual artist Ales 'Maxi' Zupevc claims is the first ever monument of Melania Trump, set in the fields near town of Sevnica, US First Ladys hometown. - After Melania cake, Melania honey, and even Melania slippers, the Slovenian hometown of the US's first lady will now boast a statue of its most famous daughter -- albeit one which has faced decidedly mixed reviews. The life-size statue on the outskirts of Sevnica was inaugurated on July 5, 2019. (Photo by Jure Makovec / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JURE MAKOVEC/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on July 5, 2019 shows what conceptual artist Ales 'Maxi' Zupevc claims is the first ever monument of Melania Trump, set in the fields near town of Sevnica, US First Ladys hometown. - After Melania cake, Melania honey, and even Melania slippers, the Slovenian hometown of the US's first lady will now boast a statue of its most famous daughter -- albeit one which has faced decidedly mixed reviews. The life-size statue on the outskirts of Sevnica was inaugurated on July 5, 2019. (Photo by Jure Makovec / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JURE MAKOVEC/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather around what conceptual artist Ales 'Maxi' Zupevc claims is the first ever monument of Melania Trump, set in the fields near the town of Sevnica, US First Ladys hometown, during a small inauguration celebration on July 5, 2019. - After Melania cake, Melania honey, and even Melania slippers, the Slovenian hometown of the US's first lady will now boast a statue of its most famous daughter -- albeit one which has faced decidedly mixed reviews. The life-size statue on the outskirts of Sevnica was inaugurated on July 5, 2019. (Photo by Jure Makovec / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JURE MAKOVEC/AFP/Getty Images)
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