Local authorities said suspected vandals burnt a wooden statue of US President Donald Trump built last year by a group of villagers to criticise populist politics.
The eight-metre-high (26 feet) statue of Trump nicknamed “statue of liberty” , complete with his trademark mane blue suit, white shirt and red tie was built last August by architect Tomaz Schlegl who wanted it to serve as a criticism of populist politics.
Initially installed in the Sela pri Kamniku village, 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of the capital Ljubljana, the statue was moved in December to the nearby town of Moravce after protests by villagers who were annoyed at the increase of tourists coming to see it.
But shortly after its arrival to Moravce, vandals damaged the statue by drawing a moustache on its face in a clear reference to Adolf Hitler.
According to mayor of Moravce, Milan Balazic earlier on Thursday firefighters rushed to extinguish the blaze that completely destroyed the statue, Police are expected to launch an investigation into the incident
He described the assault as an attack against art and tolerance, adding that many tourists had come to see the statue since it was installed last month, giving the town more popularity and prominence.
On his part, Architect Schlegl said he saw the suspected arson as an act against Trump given recent escalation of tensions after the US ordered a deadly strike against an Iranian general.
However, Balazic said he planned to install a new sculpture, calling it the “tolerance statue” though this time it would be made of more durable material — rather than wood — and it would not depict the US president.