People Kept Punching a Trump Wax Figure in a Texas Museum and Now It's Been Stored for Repairs
Not everyone is waxing nostalgic about former President Donald Trump. Certainly not in San Antonio, Texas, where a figure in his likeness is now in storage after visitors to Louis Tussaud's Waxworks repeatedly punched it in the face.
The San Antonio Express-News reported that the faux-Trump had been moved to storage after being damaged from multiple punchings.
A spokeswoman for museum owner Ripley Entertainment confirms to PEOPLE that the statue had been moved to an undisclosed location to undergo repairs. She downplayed the damage it had received, however — saying it was typical of many of the company's wax figures.
In a separate statement, the spokeswoman, Suzanne Smagala-Potts, said the company "has a long history of creating wax figures of the US President to display at our Louis Tussaud's Waxworks and Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditoriums. Our wax figures will need repairing from time to time, ranging from Hollywood celebrities to political figures."
"Ripley's only showcases the highest quality of exhibits and wax figures," her statement continued. "When a wax figure has been damaged, we will remove the figure from public display and send it to our talented team of artists for repair."
In an interview, Smagala-Potts said that Ripley's wax museums are "interactive," and the figures are therefore in regular need of repair due to everyday wear and tear.
"We like to be an interactive museum where people can come, and pose and take selfies," she says. "A lot of times, a figures will need repair and it's not even intentional — people just want to touch the face of Miley Cyrus or Lady Gaga or put their arm around it, and maybe they knock it down by accident."
Smagala-Potts notes that the company has shown other controversial figures before (Trump's figure, for instance, was displayed next to Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un), but says that the company has no political bias and allows visitors to pose with figures however they want.
"Either way, we only want to showcase the highest quality, so if there's damage, we send it back to our team of artists for touch-ups or repairs," she says.
Asked if the damage to the Trump figure occurred because of repeated punches to the face, she says, "Have some people done that? Yes. But it's also been damaged accidentally, as well."
It's unclear how long repairs to the Trump figure will take or where it will head once it's been touched up, though Smagala-Potts says that all of the wax museums change their galleries frequently.
As the San Antonio museum does not have a dedicated presidential gallery, the Trump figure "may be sent back, or he may not," all depending on what sort of display is planned at the gallery. (A Joe Biden figure is currently being modeled and will eventually make its way to the museum.)
A different location of the wax museum — in Grand Prairie, Texas — does have a dedicated presidential gallery, which currently includes a likeness of Trump and every other U.S. president in history.
Other wax and animatronic figures of Trump, 74, have made headlines before.
The Madame Tussauds in Berlin wheeled its figure of Trump off its show floor as an apparent "preparatory measure" prior to the presidential election, which he lost to Biden.
In footage obtained by Reuters, Trump's wax figure was placed into a large trash bin along with signs that read "Fake News!" "I love Berlin," and "You are fired!" — a reference to Trump's catchphrase from The Apprentice.
In the U.S., Disney's animatronic Trump in its Hall of Presidents was mocked relentlessly by social media users when it was unveiled in 2017.
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