An infamous statue depicting a naked Donald Trump is back on top of a Miami art gallery after a wild weekend ride in a pickup truck to destinations unknown, police and the gallery owner said. Police arrested a suspect, but he refuses to speak and has invoked the Fifth Amendment, according to the Miami Herald.
Meanwhile, the owner of Harold Golen Gallery posted photos on Facebook Saturday showing the unflattering depiction of the billionaire Republican presidential candidate back on the roof of the building in the Wynwood Arts District. "Hideous naked Trump is back home," Golen wrote, noting that he's not a fan of Trump.
Golen said the sculpture by Las Vegas artist Joshua "Ginger" Monroe is designed to expose Trump's faults "on the inside and out." Monroe collaborated with the anarchistic artist collective Indecline to bring the statue to sites across the country. Its appearance in Miami was engineered by developer Moishe Mana, who made arrangements with Indecline to bring it to Wynwood.
Naked Trump went missing early Thursday while police sought a Coral Gables man who owned the pickup truck seen making off with the booty.
When police arrested Pedro A. Rodriguez on Friday afternoon, he refused to admit that he stole the sculpture and wouldn’t say if he knew where it was, the Herald reports. Rodriguez, 36, a Wynwood graffiti guide with a history of minor criminal acts, faces charges of grand theft and burglary.
But later Friday, the statue reappeared at Miami police headquarters, according to the Herald. "We found Mr. Trump," Deputy Miami police Chief Luis Cabrera declared. “He arrived some time after five. He has damage."
Golen says the statue was beheaded, and that police later found the head and returned the sculpture. Asked if security was being tightened, Golen cheekily replied: "Sarah Palin is here guarding it with her life."
The 6-foot statue, painted shades of pink and peach, includes gruesome details such as cellulite and a sagging belly. Different versions also include private parts, in various stages of cover. It has been met with reactions ranging from outrage to indifference, with criminal incidents escalating recently.
In Las Vegas, a naked Trump statue was found broken from its pedestal and covered in graffiti early Friday, according to KSNV News 3, which also posted photos and video of the defaced artwork.
"We kinda figured some idiot would come and do something like this, but it just shows the way society is and the lack of appreciation for art," Monroe told News 3.
What's more brazen than a $50,0000 statue that depicts a nude Donald Trump perched atop an art gallery? Someone willing to climb up on the roof and steal it, apparently.
Miami police say Pedro Alejandro Rodriguez, 36, was charged with grand theft and burglary in connection with the theft of "Naked Trump" early Thursday morning in the Wynwood Arts District, according to WPLG-TV. The statue is still at large, however. Police today recanted a tweet that it had been found. No other information on the arrest was available.
The sculpture, titled "The Emperor Has No Balls" by the artist collective Indecline and displayed similarly across the country, was on the roof for several days before it was stolen, according to WSVN-TV.
The likeness of the Republican presidential candidate in his birthday suit first turned up in Wynwood more than a week ago atop a billboard. After police expressed concerns that it was a safety hazard, the property owner agreed to have it moved. It was reportedly distracting drivers along Interstate 95, WSVN said.
Naked Trump's most recent perch was on the roof of the Harold Golen Gallery, where it held court until around 3 a.m. Thursday. A witness told CBS 4 that he saw three men grab the statue off the roof and toss it into a truck before speeding off.
"I seen the guys looking up,” Angel Pino told the TV station. "He was already by Donald Trump and pulled it and ran. I ran after him and said 'stop, stop, stop' and he jumped in the truck and left. But before he left, I took a picture and it is perfect."
The sculpture, valued at $50,000, was damaged when it was removed, CBS 4 reported. The thieves yanked it out of its platform, leaving the fiberglass feet still nailed to the gallery roof.
The tag on the truck led police to Rodriguez. If the statue is recovered, the developer who collaborated with Indecline to bring it to Wynwood said, he will reinstall it. "I'm really so upset," Moishe Mana told Miami New Times. "Hopefully, the police will catch them."
Nude Trump statues have be spotted across the country since August, credited to the anarchist art group. A version of the statue was stolen over the weekend in New Jersey, were it was displayed atop a warehouse at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel, greeting drivers on their way into into New York City, the WSVN story says. Surveillance video shows the thief struggling for 3 1/2 hours before removing the statue from the roof.
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