Bizarre Melania statue compared to past horrors

A life-size wooden sculpture of US first lady Melania Trump was unveiled on Friday (July 5) near her hometown of Sevnica in southeastern Slovenia.

Commissioned by Berlin-based, American artist Brad Downey and carved with a chainsaw by local folk artist Ales Zupevc, the statue serves as a - perhaps wry - accompaniment to Downey's exhibition in the capital Ljubljana, exploring Melania's roots in the small Alpine country.

'Melania Trump' in Slovenia.
'Melania Trump' in Slovenia. Photo credit: Reuters

It is the latest in a long line of statues or sculptures of celebrities and sportspeople that haven't always met with universal praise.

A much-mocked statue of Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo was unveiled in Portugal in 2017. It soon went viral with people questioning its resemblance to the football star.

Ronaldo?
Ronaldo? Photo credit: Reuters

A statue of British footballer David Beckham unveiled in California in 2019 had some questioning its resemblance to the footballer, as did one of him on the Pariwat temple in Bangkok.

'David Beckham'.
'David Beckham'. Photo credit: Reuters
'David Beckham'.
'David Beckham'. Photo credit: Reuters

Late US singer Michael Jackson's statue at London's Fulham football club was unveiled in 2011 and was widely mocked for looking nothing like him. It was installed by the club's former owner Mohamed al-Fayed, and has since been removed.

'Michael Jackson'.
'Michael Jackson'. Photo credit: Reuters

In 2010, American actor Johnny Depp unveiled a somewhat bizarre statue of himself at a film festival in Serbia.

Back in 2008, British sculptor Marc Quinn depicted Kate Moss as a golden yoga goddess, with her hands and feet contorted behind her head. However, some have pointed out that the face was not a great likeness of the British supermodel.

Odder still was a nude Britney Spears statue by artist Daniel Edwards unveiled in New York in 2006 - controversial in part because it depicted the American singer giving birth, and because many said it looked absolutely nothing like her.

'Britney Spears'.
'Britney Spears'. Photo credit: Reuters

A questionable-looking statue of the late Elvis Presley was on display at Israel's 'Elvis Inn' in 2009.

Finally, when Belgian actor Jean Claude Van Damme unveiled his statue in Brussels in 2012, for some the resemblance was not immediately obvious.

'Jean-Claude van Damme'.
'Jean-Claude van Damme'. Photo credit: Reuters

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