The owner of Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks in San Antonio had to remove a wax figure of former President Trump after guests damaged it by repeatedly punching it in the face.
The owner says damage to wax figures can be a cause for concern, especially figures of politicians.
“When a wax figure has been damaged, we will remove the figure from public display and send it to our talented team of artists for repair,” said a Ripley Entertainment spokesperson to Fox 5 NY.
Guests had caused so much damage to the figure that it had to be removed from public viewing. The Trump statue had severe scratches to its face.
“When it’s a highly political figure, attacks can be a problem,” said Clay Stewart, regional manager for Ripley Entertainment to the San Antonio Express-News
It is unknown when the figure will be back on display, but a figure of Joe Biden is currently being prioritized. Figures are often rotated out based on the current popularity of the model. Trump’s removal was based on the damage to the figure and not his popularity. Once repaired, the figure will return to the gallery for public viewing.
Attacks to the figure increased during the 2020 presidential election, said Stewart. Moving the Trump figure to the lobby, where ticket attendants could monitor the statue, did not stop people from punching the statue.
The statue was quietly moved into storage in July because of the attacks by guests.
“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,” said Stewart. “The ears were torn off Obama six times. And then Bush’s nose was punched in.”
“People are just aggressive about their political party,” continued Stewart.
The Obama statue had to be shipped to Orlando often because of the damage caused by guests. Since Obama left office, attacks have stopped.
“He has not been beaten as much since he left office,” said Stewart.
In an interview with People Magazine, a spokeswoman for Ripley Entertainment, Suzanne Smagala-Potts, said that damage to all statues, not just politicians, happens often.
According to Smagala-Potts, damage to the statues happen because they are designed to be “interactive.”
“We like to be an interactive museum where people can come, and pose and take selfies,” said Smagala-Potts. “A lot of times, a figure will need repair and it’s not even intentional — people just want to touch the face of Miley Cyrus or Lady Gaga or put their arm around it, and maybe they knock it down by accident.”
Smagala-Potts did confirm that people will damage the Trump statues due to their dislike for the former President.
“Have some people done that? Yes. But it’s also been damaged accidentally, as well,” said Smagala-Potts.
“Ripley’s only showcases the highest quality of exhibits and wax figures,” continued Smagala-Potts. “When a wax figure has been damaged, we will remove the figure from public display and send it to our talented team of artists for repair.”
“(Ripley Entertainment) has a long history of creating wax figures of the US President to display at our Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums, Our wax figures will need repairing from time to time, ranging from Hollywood celebrities to political figures,” concluded Smagala-Potts.
A Trump figure in Grand Prairie Texas has not been vandalized at all while it has been displayed. It is unknown why people visiting the San Antonio location continue to damage the figure.
Three wax statues of Trump, created by Ripley Entertainment, currently exist, located in San Antonio, Grand Prairie, and Niagara Falls, Ontario.