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Golden Trump statue at CPAC conference was made in Mexico

Artist says he made figure south of border, brought it to Florida on his own initiative; says he voted for Trump but doesn’t like him that much

A statue of former US president Donald Trump on display at the merchandise show at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) February 26, 2021, in Orlando, Florida. (AP/John Raoux)
A statue of former US president Donald Trump on display at the merchandise show at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) February 26, 2021, in Orlando, Florida. (AP/John Raoux)

A golden statue of former US president Donald Trump at a major annual conservative conference was made in Mexico.

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is being held in Orlando, Florida between Thursday and Sunday.

The golden statue garnered widespread attention online as the Republican party grapples with deep divisions over the extent to which it will embrace Trump.

The party lost the White House and both chambers of Congress under his watch, and went through two impeachments, a botched response to the pandemic, the storming of the capital on January 6 and other scandals.

CPAC turned into an ode to Trump despite those doubts, with the golden statue seen as symbolizing widespread, continuing fealty to the former president.

The statue depicts Trump holding a wand and wearing a suit jacket, white shirt, red tie, star-spangled shorts and sandals.

Many conference attendees took photos alongside the statue, and critics online unfavorably compared it to the Biblical golden calf.

A conference attendee takes a selfie photo in front of a statue of former president Donald Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) February 26, 2021, in Orlando, Florida. (AP/John Raoux)

The artist who made the statue, Tommy Zegan, told Politico that the statue was made in Mexico, a country Trump has repeatedly demonized by disparaging immigrants from there and vowing to build a wall across the southern border.

Zegan is an American who lives in Rosarito, Mexico, on a permanent resident visa and built the statue there for over six months.

Three men helped him craft the figure, which weighs 200 pounds and is actually made out of fiberglass.

He brought the statue to Florida from Rosarito, which is on Mexico’s west coast near the US border. It was painted in chrome to give it its golden sheen in Tampa, then ferried to CPAC in a U-Haul, Politico said.

Zegan apparently made the statue and brought it into CPAC on his own initiative and is willing to sell it.

“If someone offered me $100,000 I’d take it,” he said.

He said he voted for Trump, but “didn’t really care for him.”

“I used to watch ‘The Apprentice’ but I would turn it off halfway. I thought, ‘This is stupid,’” Zegan said.

Zegan told the New York Post that the statue was called “Trump and his magic wand,” which, he said, refers to a joke former US president Barack Obama made about Trump needing a “magic wand” to create American jobs.

Trump is set to speak at CPAC on Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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