The nearly 26-foot tall wooden structure that had a mechanism to open Trump’s red painted mouth full of pointy teeth was constructed last year in a nation divided over the U.S. president.
The statue of Trump, with the president’s signature blue suit and red tie, had been under torch threats since local residents threatened to set it ablaze on Halloween, according to the Associated Press. It was relocated because of the risk.
The artist Tomaz Schlegl, who created the Trump statue, said in August that the figure has two faces, like populism. “One is humane and nice, the other is that of a vampire,” he said, according to AP.
“I designed the statue because people have forgotten what the Statue of Liberty stands for,” Schlegl told Reuters last year, insisting that the Trump-resembling statue wasn’t actually Trump. “I want to alert people to the rise of populism and it would be difficult to find a bigger populist in this world than Donald Trump.”
Statue Trump had a raised right hand and papers in his left. He had an intense expression that could be interpreted different ways, former Slovenian politician Igor Omerza said.
Omerza, who has written about Melania Trump, said the statue could have symbolized Trump as Lady Liberty or be interpreted as the look of a dictator.
The first lady has her own controversial statue that was unveiled in her home country in July. The nine-foot-high chain-saw carving seemingly commemorates the blue dress the first lady wore at her husband’s inauguration. The tourist attraction was assessed as making the former model look more like a “Smurfette” or a “scarecrow” than being a likeness of her.
Milan Balazic, the mayor of Moravce, said police are investigating the Trump statue arson.
“This is an attack against art and tolerance … against Europe’s fundamental values,” Balazic told Agence France-Presse.