A wax museum in San Antonio, Texas, was forced to remove its statue of former President Donald Trump because visitors kept attacking it.
Louis Tussaud's Waxworks transferred the statue from the gallery to a storage unit after the museum's guests repeatedly punched and scratched the figure, causing damage.
"It's a presidential figure," said Suzanne Smagala-Potts, a spokesperson for the museum's parent company, Ripley Entertainment. "Sometimes people will take a swipe at them, but they did that with Obama, Bush, and they've done it with celebrity figures as well. It's just something that happens."
Scratches to the statues's face were especially marring, Ripley's regional manager, Clay Stewart, told the San Antonio Express-News, which first reported the figure's removal. "When it's a highly political figure, attacks can be a problem," Stewart said.
Smagala-Potts said statues regularly need to be repaired when visitors cause general wear and tear, such as when posing for photos with their arms around the figures.
But "political figures can be a little bit more polarizing, depending on which side of the political spectrum you lead," she said. "And that's totally fine. We're not a political business, we don't have any bias."
"And we say, you know, you can take your picture however you'd like," she said. "Some people like to take their picture with a thumbs-up; some people like to take a picture with a thumbs-down."
Smagala-Potts could not provide a specific timetable for when a repaired Trump statue would be returned to the gallery floor. Stewart told the Express News, however, that the likeness would be reinstalled at the same time a statue of President Joe Biden, currently under production, is put on display.
While Trump left office with his approval rating in the low-40s — a fairly typical rating during his presidency — he retains broad support among Republicans. In a poll after his second impeachment trial, 54 percent of GOP voters said they would vote for Trump if he ran in 2024, and 59 percent said they want him to play a major role in the party going forward.