New Melania Trump statue in Slovenia gets mixed reviews

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Sevnica has change into a vacationer magnet ever since Donald Trump became elected United States president in 2016, and Ms Trump - a infamous historic resident - changed into the first woman.

Melania Trump may have left her Slovenian hometown of Sevnica, but thanks to conceptual artist Ales "Maxi" Zupevc, her presence is still, um. looming.

The town of Sevnica has become an overnight tourist attraction following Trump's election into office in 2016, with some journalists looking for insight into the first lady.

The statue depicts the First Lady on Inauguration Day in 2017, wearing a blue dress designed by Ralph Lauren and waving at crowds.

But not everyone has taken a liking to the new statue.

But Mr Downey defended his art work, insisting it was "absolutely beautiful".

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Entrepreneurial locals have been cashing in on the influx, offering a bewildering array of Melania-branded food and merchandise as well as a tour of the area taking in the key sites of her early years.

The statue is located on the outskirts of Sevnica, Trump's hometown, and carved out of a tree with a chainsaw.

He told AFP that conversations with Maxi had enabled him to see Trump's ancestral region through local eyes.

While for some, the new sculpture is a step too far, Katarina, 66, told AFP news agency it was a "good idea" to have the artwork, adding: "Melania is a Slovenian hero, she's made it to the top in the USA". "We in Sevnica can only laugh and, at the same time, hold our heads in our hands over their [the Trumps'] catastrophic reputation". "It's a Smurfette. It's a disgrace", they said.

Katarina, a 66-year-old resident of the nearby town of Rozno, told AFP she thought the statue was a "good idea".

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