Politics

Melania Trump Statue To Be Erected In Eastern Europe

| by Lauren Briggs

A statue in the likeness of First Lady Melania Trump will reportedly soon be erected in Bosnia and Herzegovina (one place), a country near her native Slovenia.

Technical Director Marinko Umicevic of Bema, a shoe factory in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is making the necessary preparations to install the life-size statue of Mrs. Trump, reports Newsweek. 

Both Bosnia and Slovenia were part of Yugoslavia when Mrs. Trump was born.

Stevo Selak, who has also crafted statues of President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, will make Mrs. Trump's statue out of gypsum, according to The Sarajevo Times.

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The statue will wear a handbag and pair of shoes from Bema.

Umicevic said that the stone sculpture will go up partially in honor of Mrs. Trump's April 26 birthday, when she turned 47, and it will also serve as an attempt both to entice the first lady to visit the area as well as to extend a friendly gesture to the U.S.

"The news spread around fast," Umicevic told The Sarajevo Times. "They are constantly calling me and asking where is this Banja Luka. I am trying to promote our city, and this is one way to do it."

Umicevic sent Mrs. Trump a pair of Bema shoes in 2016 following an address she gave at the Republican National convention in July, notes Newsweek. The technical director said that he did so in the hopes that the president's administration would soften its approach toward the area.

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"We hope that America will stop being the world policeman," Umicevic told Reuters, according to Newsweek. "We are hoping a friendship will come in the future from the United States instead of bombs that Serbs got from [former President Bill Clinton]."

A Bema factory spokesperson told Newsweek that they hope the statue will lead to a "positive answer and olive branch from U.S.A." in the future.

"Yes, we confirm this information with pleasure," said the spokesperson when asked about the upcoming installation." Mr. Umicevic is planning to install a statue of Lady Melania Trump in front of our factory, in order to pay tribute to Mrs. Trump."

The American first lady is wildly popular in eastern Europe, particularly in her home town of Sevnica, Slovenia, where tourists and locals alike can purchase food-related souvenirs including wine, cake, pies and honey branded in her likeness, and people can take tours centered around her early life, The Guardian reported in April.

​Sources: Newsweek, Sarajevo Times, The Guardian / Photo credit: U.S. Department of State/Flickr

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