Slovenian Tourism booming after Beauty Queen Melanie Trump’s monument in Sevnica confirms her as a hero
Tourism to Slovenia means green tourism. Climate change is a big deal in Slovenia what includes the small town of Sevnica. What does have Washington DC in common with this small Slovenian Town of Sevnica? With president Trump divorcing from the Paris climate agreement, green cannot be the reason for so much common grounds. A new parallel between the two cities is certainly not the size but perhaps both cities have famous monuments.
The pillow of common ground and tourism opportunities for this Slovenian village is someone many see now as a National Hero of Slovenia. The hero is the first lady of the United States, Melania Trump, a Slovene-born American former fashion model. Born in Novo Mesto as Melanija Knavs, the First Lady grew up in Sevnica, in the Yugoslav Republic of Slovenia. Sevnica is a town on the left bank of the Sava River in central Slovenia. It is a place to relax and be inspired according to Slovenia Tourism.
Slovenians are proud of their former beauty queen and who made it to be loved and admired as the First Lady of the United States of America. Her local town revealed a hand-carved wooden statue on Friday. The statue of Liberty in Slovenia shows Mrs. Trump adorned in the powder blue suit by Ralph Lauren Collection she wore at her husband Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration, posing as she waves her hand.
The statue was commissioned by Berlin-based American artist Brad Downey and created by Ales “Maxi” Zupevc, a local Slovenian artist, who used a chainsaw to carve out the First Lady’s likeness.
Local residents gave their opinion on the Melania Trump statue, which ranged from admiration to disdain.
Sevnica old part lies beneath Sevnica Castle on the summit of Castle Hill, while the new part of the town stretches along the plain between the hills up to the Sava Valley. For centuries, the town of Sevnica was situated on the border between two historical regions of the Habsburg Empire: Carniola and Styria. It was first mentioned in written documents in 1275. Nowadays the town is a perfect destination for relaxation and getting away from the city hustle and bustle. It nestles on the banks of the river Sava, around 90 kilometers from Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital.
“Sevnica is one of those sleepy towns where the silence is only occasionally broken by the echo of the engine of a car passing by. Standing in the town center, you`ll hear birds chirping – nothing more. Once an industrial hub, Sevnica is now home to some 5,000 people. Every patch of grass in sight is cut perfectly, and flowers are everywhere,” wrote VICE Media in its article in April.
The town is known for Sevnica Castle and its art gallery, which holds different museum collections and hosts exhibitions. You can also visit one of the 47 churches in the municipality or the archaeological site of an Early Christian settlement from the 5th or 6th century at Ajdovski Gradec above Vranje.
Nearby, the hill Lisca, at 947m above sea level, is a wonderful viewpoint, and its wind thermals attract numerous paragliders and hang-gliders. You are also invited to explore the Bizeljsko-Sremiška and Gornjedolenjska Wine Road. Don’t forget to treat yourself to some delicious quality red wine and dry sausages, which are a local speciality.
After Melania cake, Melania honey, and even Melania slippers, the Slovenian hometown of the U.S. first lady will now boast a statue of its most famous daughter — albeit one that has faced decidedly mixed reviews.
The life-size statue on the outskirts of Sevnica was inaugurated Friday and is the brainchild of 39-year-old American conceptual artist Brad Downey, who says it’s the first monument anywhere dedicated to the wife of U.S. President Donald Trump
The sculpture was carved into a tree using a chain saw and depicts Melania in a blue dress raising her left hand in a waving gesture, emulating a pose she struck at her husband’s 2017 inauguration.
Its somewhat naive style has led some critics on social media to brand it a “scarecrow.”
“I can understand why people might think that this falls short as a description of her physical appearance,” Downey said, but insisted that he found the end result “absolutely beautiful.”
Since Donald Trump took office in 2017, sleepy Sevnica has become a magnet for tourists and journalists searching for insights into the American first lady’s past. 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.
Downey came up with the statue as part of a project aimed at exploring the first lady’s Slovenian roots and commissioned local artisan Ales Zupevc — also known as “Maxi” — to actually carve the sculpture.
Downey said he was struck by the fact that Maxi was born in the same year and in the same hospital as Melania herself.
He said conversations with Maxi had enabled him to see Melania’s ancestral region through local eyes.
“You see this river that she would have seen as a child, you see the mountains,” he said.
However, not everyone has been moved to wax lyrical about the artwork.
Nika, a local 24-year-old architecture student, said: “If the monument was meant to be a parody, then the artist has been successful.
“We in Sevnica can only laugh and, at the same time, hold our heads in our hands over their (the Trumps’) catastrophic reputation,” she added.
Katarina, a 66-year-old resident of nearby Rozno, said that she thought the monument was a “good idea.”
“Melania is a Slovenian hero, she made it to the top in the U.S.,” she said.