A wooden statue mocking US President Donald Trump has been burned to the ground in Slovenia, the birthplace of his wife Melania, authorities said.

The nearly eight-metre (26ft) high construction, erected last year in a village in the north east of Slovenia, showed Mr Trump with his trademark hairstyle, blue suit, white shirt and a long red tie.

His right arm – fist clenched – was raised high like that of New York’s Statue of Liberty.

Slovenian police are looking for the arsonist.

When triggered, a mechanism inside the statue opened a red-painted mouth and shark-like teeth used to appear.

“Like all populists, the statue has two faces,” its creator Tomaz Schlegl said when he unveiled the statue last August.

“One is humane and nice, the other is that of a vampire.”

Although the construction quickly became a tourist attraction,

The wooden statue before the fire

some local villagers were unhappy with its appearance, pledging to torch it by Halloween, October 31.

It had to be moved to another village in the area.

Milan Balazic, the mayor of Moravce, where the statue ended up, said that unknown arsonists burned it.

Firefighters tackle the blaze

He said the torching of the statue “is a symbol of intolerance towards artistic projects in our society”.
It is not the first time in Slovenia that a member of the Trump family has been carved in wood.

A life-size sculpture of the US first lady cut from the trunk of a linden tree was unveiled in her home town Sevnica last June, drawing mixed reactions from residents.

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

There are mixed feelings about Mrs Trump in Slovenia, where hopes were high that she would promote her picturesque Alpine home country after Mr Trump took office.

But she has rarely mentioned Slovenia in her public appearances and has not visited the small central European country since Mr Trump’s inauguration.

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