A $1,100 replica statue of Mount Rushmore featuring Donald Trump‘s face has been spotted in person for the first time since being gifted to the former President.
Former President Trump had been gifted the four-foot replica sculpture, which had been adapted to include his own likeness, by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem back in 2020.
The gift had been presented to Trump following his speech at the site on July 3, 2020, as part of the state’s Fourth of July celebrations.
And now, the sculpture has been photographed in-person for the first time, spotted sitting beneath a wooden table at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago home.
The $1,100 replica statue of Mount Rushmore featuring Donald Trump’s face has been spotted in person for the first time since being gifted to the former President in 2020
The four-foot replica, which has been adapted to include Trump’s face, was seen sitting on a side table at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home as he posed for a photo while receiving an honorary black belt
The former president was meeting with Lee Dong-seop, the president of Kukkiwon, also known as World Taekwondo Headquarters, when the sculpture was spotted.
Trump stood holding the Honorary 9th Dan Certificate he had been awarded as he smiled alongside Lee Dong-seop.
And just off to Trump’s right, beneath a wooden side table, the Mount Rushmore sculpture could be seen.
Reimaginations of how the sculpture looked had previously been released, but this is believed to be the first time that the artwork has been seen in the flesh.
The mini Mount Rushmore features the typical heads of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln – and off to the side is Trump’s own face.
As with the other presidential faces, a tie, shirt collar and jacket lapels are also visible on Trump’s likeness.
The sculpture was situated on a shelf on the underside of a wooden side table, upon which a MAGA cap and a collection of books sit.
And on the walls of the room were photos taken during Trump’s time in office, including his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The existence of the gift was first reported by the New York Times four days after Trump’s 2020 speech, but a photo of the sculpture showing Trump’s face etched to Abraham Lincoln’s has not been seen until now.
It is believed that Trump was gifted the privately funded sculpture by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem on July 3, 2020, after he gave a speech at the monument
Trump said in a tweet about a month after his speech that it ‘sounds like a good idea’ to put him on Mount Rushmore, after the Times claimed that a White House aide reached out to Noem to discuss the plan.
The president, who has long floated the idea, denied that he had ever requested having himself added to the monument. But, he said, it was a fine idea, given his accomplishments.
After his July speech at Mount Rushmore last year, Trump tweeted that it was a ‘good idea’ to have his face added to the landmark on the Lakota people’s sacred Black Hills.
‘This is Fake News by the failing @nytimes & bad ratings @cnn,’ he tweeted, in response to the article.
‘Never suggested it although, based on all of the many things accomplished during the first 3 1/2 years, perhaps more than any other Presidency, sounds like a good idea to me!’
Pictured: Trump and Noem are seen together on September 7, 2018, two years before he was presented with the sculpture
The request by the White House aide was made last year, a Republican official told The New York Times.
The White House, asked about the request, did not deny that it had taken place, and instead replied that it was a federal, not state, monument.
Trump first raised the prospect of having his face carved on the historic site soon after he took office, in January 2017.
Only three copies were made, according to Leuning and Treeby – Trump voters who created the sculpture – with one being gifted to Trump, and the other two to the unknown donors.
Noem’s communications director, Ian Fury, also previously confirmed that no taxpayer money was used to fund the $1,100 sculpture, and that instead it had been paid for by the two donors.
The meaning behind Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore was started in 1927, and never completed. Work ended with the death of sculptor Gutzon Borglum in 1941.
The monument features the faces of four former US presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
They were selected ahead of other presidents by artist Borglum because in his eyes, they represented the most important events in the history of the United States.
George Washington, the very first US President, was selected because of his role during the American Revolutionary War to win independence.
He was the father of the new country and laid the foundation of American democracy – leading Borglum to give him the greatest prominence amongst the faces on the monument.
Thomas Jefferson, the third US President, was selected due to his role as one of the primary authors of the Declaration of Independence.
Additionally, he purchased the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 which doubled the size of America at the time.
Theodore Roosevelt also features on the monument, and was selected because he represented the development of the US during the 20th century.
He oversaw the rapid economic growth experienced in the country and was crucial during negotiations for the Panama Canal to be constructed.
And lastly, Abraham Lincoln was chosen because he held America together during the Civil War and for his role in the abolition of slavery.
Mount Rushmore’s massive measurements are: 27 inches wide, 12 inches high, and 8-1/2 inches deep. It features the following four presidents (left to right): George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln
Maureen McGee-Ballinger, public information officer at Mount Rushmore, told The Argus Leader last year that workers are asked daily whether any president can be added.
For years, people have suggested Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, among others. A website has been set up advocating for Obama.
McGee-Ballinger said it was impossible.
‘There is no more carvable space up on the sculpture,’ she said.
‘When you are looking on the sculpture, it appears there might be some space on the left next to Washington or right next to Lincoln.
‘You are either looking at the rock that is beyond the sculpture (on the right), which is an optical illusion, or on the left, that is not carvable.’
Critics of Mount Rushmore have also questioned the decision to make a sculpture of the four presidents because of certain biographical details about them.
They argue that Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt shouldn’t be on the mountain because the first two were both slaveholders; Lincoln was unpopular among many Native Americans for allowing the execution of 39 Indians after the Dakota War in 1892, and Roosevelt had made comments about ‘inferior’ races during his presidency.
Borglum, the sculptor, had ties to the Ku Klux Klan and he also worked on Stone Mountain in Georgia, which was a massive tribute to Confederate leaders Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, before moving to South Dakota.