Just three weeks into his term, President Trump received a major honor. Or, you know, maybe not.
The Tuscan town of the Vagli di Sotto (population 1,000) just announced that it will erect a marble sculpture of the new U.S. president. Already, private donors (Italian and American) have contributed about $105,000 for the project; the artist is hard at work. The catch: Trump's statue will live in the Park of Honor and Dishonor. Others who've received this dubious esteem include a French police dog killed in a raid after the November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks and Francesco Schettino, the captain responsible for the 2012 Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster. (He is depicted with rabbit ears.)
“It's for history to decide whether Trump merits honor or dishonor,” Mayor Mario Puglia told Il Fatto Quotidiano, adding that he won't discuss the particulars of the president's policies. “He is keeping his campaign promises, and that's important. He was democratically elected; he has the full right to govern.”
Some of the statues in the park.
Puglia hopes the statue will increase the number of tourists. Perhaps Trump will make the trip, too, though Puglia is skeptical “because of everything he has to do.” But, he said, he has invited him through the U.S. ambassador. Last year, about 250,000 people made the trek to Vagli di Sotto. In addition to the park, the little town hosts the submerged village of Fabbriche di Careggine in its lake — which often dries out during the summer months, allowing tourists to see it.
In truth, Puglia told the news outlet the Local that this isn't about Trump — it's about celebrating the town's famous marble. He used some truly Trump-like language to explain his thinking: “Our marble is the most beautiful in the world,” he said.