Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A wooden statue of Melania Trump that was damaged by an arsonist in July has been replaced by a bronze version near the first lady's hometown in Slovenia.
Brad Downey, the artist who originally commissioned conceptual artist Ales Zupevc, aka Maxi, to construct the wooden version of the sculpture near Melania Trump's hometown of Sevnica, unveiled the bronze upgrade Tuesday.
Maxi was not involved in the construction of the bronze version of his piece, but attended and participated in the unveiling.
The damaged wooden version of the sculpture is currently part of an art exhibition in Kroper, Slovenia. Downey said he has not allowed anyone to photograph the burned version because he does not want it to become part of the discourse about monuments in the United States.
"I removed it quickly so it didn't enter a dark narrative," he told CNN.
Downey denied speculation that he was involved in the arson incident.
"I didn't think it was a good ending for the artwork, I didn't think it was a good ending for the community," he said of the arson incident.
Downey had earlier said the wooden sculpture was designed as a critique of the "anti-immigration narrative" from President Donald Trump's administration. He said the installation highlighted the contradiction between the administration's stance on immigration while the president is married to an immigrant whose first language was not English.