Knock wood: Melania Trump tree statue erected in First Lady’s Slovenian hometown

A Slovenian artist has created a statue in honour of Melania Trump.

But the residents of Sevnica, Trump's hometown, are divided as to whether the crudely made, abstract work is art or the result of a chainsaw massacre.

"We in Sevnica can only laugh and, at the same time, hold our heads in our hands over (The Trumps') catastrophic reputation," a local, 24-year-old female architecture student, identified only as Nika, groaned to Agence France-Presse. "If the monument was meant to be a parody, then the artist has been successful."

The brainchild behind this creation is Berlin-based artist Brad Downey, who hails from Kentucky. He contacted Ales "Maxi" Zupvec, a self-proclaimed amateur chainsaw sculptor to carve the piece, reported AFP.

The sculpture, depicting Trump in a blue dress with her left hand up — supposedly emulating a pose at Donald Trump's 2019 inauguration — was carved out of a tree with a chainsaw.

The primitive, larger-than-life creation has been derided by some critics as a "scarecrow".

"I can understand why people might think that this falls short as a description of her physical appearance," Downey told AFP, but insisted the creation was "absolutely beautiful."

Since President Trump took office, Sevnica — with a population of about 5,000 residents — has become a hotspot for both tourists and journalists.

But at least one person believes the statue does the First Lady proud.

"Melania is a Slovenian hero," said a 66-year-old resident of nearby Rozno who identified herself only as Katarina. "She made it to the top in the US."