Donald Trump is certainly known to evoke strong emotions, good and bad, in Americans, but who would have thought his wax figure would have done the same thing.
And yet, curators at the Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks in San Antonio reported that they had to remove a wax figure of the former president last summer because too many visitors were defacing the artwork by punching and scratching it.
“When it’s a highly political figure, attacks can be a problem,” Clay Stewart, regional manager for Ripley Entertainment, which owns the wax museum, said, adding that several of the scratches were deep.
The San Antonio Express-News reported:
It’s unclear when the wax museum will repair Trump and put him back on display. Stewart said it likely won’t happen until after the museum receives a wax figure of President Joe Biden, currently in the works at Ripley Entertainment’s headquarters in Orlando, Fla.
With limited space, the museum decides which figures to display based on how the popularity of the politician, celebrity or star athlete has stood up over time. For now, Trump is in good company. He’s sharing storage space with W.C. Fields, George Washington and nearly 30 other wax figures.
Trump’s removal was the result of the damage the figure sustained, not the ebb and flow of his public status.
“Wax figures are rotated all the time,” Stewart added.
Other officials with Ripley’s noted that Trump’s figure wasn’t removed because he isn’t revered or no longer popular.
“Our wax figures will need repairing from time to time,” assured Suzanne Smagala-Potts, Ripley Entertainment’s public relations director.
Museum staff said Trump was removed from display last July after the campaign began to heat up and as riots and other nonsense erupted in major cities all over the country, first in response to the George Floyd death in Minneapolis, but then just because Black Lives Matter and Antifa supporters could get away with it.
Before Trump was removed, however, staffers tried moving the figure closer to where ticketing associates were stationed so they could keep better watch over it, but that didn’t seem to help, either.
“We’ve always had trouble with the presidential section because no matter what president it was — Bush, Obama or Trump — they’ve all had people beat them,” Stewart said. “The ears were torn off Obama six times. And then Bush’s nose was punched in.”
Stewart was making a reference to George W. Bush, not his late father, George H. W. Bush. The former served as the country’s 41st president and the latter our 43rd.
“People are just aggressive about their political party,” he said.
Obama’s figure had to be shipped down to Orlando for repairs quite often. But the Trump figure remains exiled in storage in San Antonio because coronavirus restrictions “have caused a shortage of artists at the corporate office,” according to the Express-News.
And Obama isn’t really being abused these days, Stewart said.
“He has not been beaten as much since he left office,” he told the paper.
Trump, meanwhile, has been getting better treatment at Louis Tussaud’s Palace of Wax in Grand Prairie, also owned by Ripley Entertainment. There hasn’t been a single defacement of Trump at that museum.
“He’s a big photo op here,” Vera Davis, the wax museum’s manager/supervisor, said.