12 cringeworthy statues of famous people that look nothing like them

Business Insider US
  • Many statues of famous individuals turn out hilariously inaccurate.
  • First lady Melania Trump's statue, unveiled in her hometown of Sevnica in Slovenia in July 2019, looks like a discoloured lump of wood.
  • Lucille Ball's statue in New York state has been nicknamed "Scary Lucy" because of her terrifying facial expression.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.

While getting a statue made of someone seems like one of the most honourable ways to immortalize them, that's not always the case: many statues of famous individuals turn out looking nothing like them.

These mishaps have occurred with restorations of classic art works as well as wax figures of celebrities, but there's nothing quite like a carved statue to highlight cringeworthy inaccuracies.

Here are statues of famous people that turned out looking much worse than the person they represent.

Two terrifying, larger-than-life terracotta busts of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip sit near Windsor in the UK.

Peter Nicholls/REUTERS, Getty/WPA Pool

When UK resident Ben Bennett discovered two giant terracotta and grass-haired busts of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at a house clearance, he decided they'd be a fit for the front lawn of his home. They've been there for several years, attracting tourists and perhaps even the Queen herself, Bennet told The Telegraph. Whether or not she found a resemblance is impossible to say.

Melania Trump's statue looks like a lump of wood.

Jure Makovec/AFP/Getty Images, Evan Vucci/AP

The life-size statue of first lady Melania Trump was carved out of a living tree with a chainsaw and unveiled in her hometown of Sevnica in Slovenia in July 2019, Business Insider previously reported.

The sculpture's commissioner said he understood why some people would think the sculpture "falls short as a description of her physical appearance" but maintained that it was still "absolutely beautiful."

"You know what makes her resemble Melania?" a woman who went to see the sculpture asked. "Look at how high she climbed to the top, just like real Melania, who rose to the top of America. A little girl from Sevnica. Hats off to her."

Cristiano Ronaldo's bust was mercilessly mocked on social media.

Philipp Schmidli/Stringer/Getty

This statue of Cristiano Ronaldo was unveiled in 2017, when Portugal renamed the Madeira International Airport the Madeira International Airport Cristiano Ronaldo.

After widespread criticism, the artist, Emanuel Santos, redid it... though still not to everyone's satisfaction.

Lucille Ball's statue looks like an "I Love Lucy" demon.

When this statue of Lucille Ball showed up in her hometown of Celoron, New York, in 2009, fans were so outraged that they signed a petition to get it remade. Their efforts were a success, and the new Lucille Ball statue that now stands in the same area is much less terrifying.

Oscar Wilde's statue looks like a swamp creature.

Oscar Wilde's statue in London looks as if the mermaid from the Starbucks logo got sick and had to rise up out of the ocean to ask someone for help. It is a truly unfortunate portrayal of the otherwise handsome Irish poet and writer.

James Dean's statue looks way too sad and needs eyes.

Carlos Gandiaga/Shutterstock/Hulton Archive/Staff/Getty

With green-hued hair, an expression of inner turmoil, and a lack of eyeballs, James Dean's bust outside the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California (where much of "Rebel without a Cause" was filmed), looks nothing like the famous actor.

Kate Moss was oddly immortalized in the shape of a pretzel.

Debs/Flickr/Dave M. Benett/Stringer

Artist Marc Quinn made Kate Moss into the largest gold statue made by a man since Egyptian times, calling Moss "a modern day Aphrodite."

Moss posed for the life-sized statue, but not in the shape of a pretzel, which is the surprising position Quinn decided to immortalize her in. It was sold for $900,000 (roughly R12.8 million).

Elvis Presley's statue looks like he's falling asleep while choosing something.

Outside of Jerusalem, Israel, sits a 15-foot statue of The King that entices people to visit the Elvis Inn, a café and souvenir shop.

The statue is ... rudimentary to say the least. Luckily, the music icon has plenty of other statues of himself to make up for it.

Alfred Hitchcock's giant bust is unrecognizable.

Alfred Hitchcock filmed various movies at London's Gainsborough Studios, which is why his larger-than-life head is featured there. Too bad it looks like a melting Buddha.

There's a statue of Michael Jackson in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, making an awkward pose.

Bruno Kelly/REUTERS, Tim Whitby/Getty Images, Stringer

According to Deadspin, the statue was created to commemorate the 1996 filming of Jackson's music video for "They Don't Care About Us" in the neighbourhood of Santa Marta in Rio. It was unveiled in 2010, one year after his death, according to The Rio Times. The statue's pose might have been one of Jackson's signatures, but it still looks awkward immortalized in such a way.

Johnny Depp's statue looks lifeless and old.

In January 2010, Serbian film director Emir Kusturica unveiled a lifesize statue of actor Johnny Depp during the local Kustendorf Film and Music Festival to honour him. The statue is supposed to be a likeness of Depps's character Axel Blackmar in the 1993 film "Arizona Dream," but looks more like a lifeless older man than a young New Yorker.

The terracotta warrior Andy Murray was turned into is a lot more squat than the real deal.

Matthew Stockman/Staff/Getty

A terracotta warrior statue of tennis player Andy Murray was unveiled when he won the Rolex Masters in Shanghai in 2010.

Too bad it looks nothing like the lanky athlete. In fact, most people think it looks more like a number of other people, like Colin Firth in "The King's Speech."

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