The mayor of Vagli di Sotto, a town of 1,000 people in the Lucca province, hopes the €80,000-project will bring tourists from over the pond to see the magnificent marble statue, which will be erected in the town's Park of Honour and Dishonour this summer.
As to which of those attributes Trump might represent, mayor Mario Puglia says that's for history to decide. “I'm not going to enter in discussion over whether his actions are right or wrong,” Puglia told The Local. “But at the moment Trump is the only politician who is following through on his promises, doing what he said on the campaign trail.”
The money for the huge statue will come from a variety of donors, including English, American and Italian businesses, Puglia explained, though he is doubtful that Trump will come to visit his marble likeness.
Some of the statues in the park.
“I don't think he will come, because of everything he has to do, but we're in contact with the American ambassador and we want to invite them.”
He is also confident that the unusual statue will bring even more tourists to the 1,000-strong town, which welcomed almost 250,000 visitors last year. As well as the Park of Honour and Dishonour, which houses dozens of marble statues, Vagli di Sotto is known for the submerged village of Fabbriche di Careggine in its lake – which often dries out during the summer months so that tourists can see it.
But the idea of the new statue isn't so much to celebrate the reality TV star-turned president, as it is to celebrate the town's marble.
“Our marble is the most beautiful in the world,” says Puglia, explaining that the marble in the park alone is worth hundreds of thousands of euros.
Last year, a marble likeness of singer David Bowie was commissioned, a project which cost €65,000 and again was funded by private businesses. The statue was completed last month and will join the others in the park over the next few days.