Home / Funny / Viral / Wax Statue Of Abraham Lincoln Melting Due To Extreme Heat In Washington D.C.


If you live in the United States, a heat wave is either ending soon or is currently ongoing. Even though our summers are getting hotter and hotter, at least we're not made of wax. This past week, another victim of global warming was a sculpture of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, located in Washington, D.C.

In actuality, Abe has had a very difficult year. Sandy Williams IV, an assistant professor at the University of Richmond and artist, created a 6-foot-tall sculpture that has twice needed to be brought in for reconstruction. Williams meant for the Lincoln sculpture to partially melt, but not completely. With more than 100 candle wicks inside, the artwork was lit early in September 2023 by members of the community. The wicks were supposed to be used, but not all at once, just for a minute or two. Visitors saw the sculpture, lit the wicks, and departed without extinguishing the flames because there was no signage indicating this. All of this took place before its formal unveiling.

This past February, the sculpture was reinstalled with just ten wicks and instructions to only allow flames to burn for a brief period of time. With a weight of 3,000 pounds and a congealing point of 144°F, the Lincoln sculpture was thought to be secure for the near future. But the Great Emancipator found the heat of last weekend in Washington, D.C., to be unbearable. Social media users made jokes about Honest Abe's head tilting back at first, suggesting that he might be struggling to deal with the current political climate in the United States. Then a blob appeared on one of his legs.

Williams admitted, "I previously had joked that when our climate gets bad enough to where we are living in an environment where the ambient heat melts these sculptures, that’s when this work becomes an environmental artwork. I didn’t know that was going to be this summer.” 

Even though the sculpture unintentionally turned into a commentary on climate change, it was always intended to be political. It was erected as a part of Williams' Wax Monument Series outside Garrison Elementary School. 40 Acres Allotted: In the piece, "Camp Barker," the location of an African American refugee camp during the Civil War is honoured. Williams sought to draw attention to the history of people who had been enslaved before, during, and after the Civil War because this crucial information is frequently left out of the historical canon. 

"I have no qualms with wherever people take it," Williams said over the phone to Matt Stieb of Intelligencer. That, in my opinion, is the main purpose of public art. I believe my favourite thing about public art is that. The fact that I have no control over the future and never know what will happen is what both unnerves and delights me the most. They appear to be able to enjoy the memes that melting Abe has brought about.

This week, the wax monument ought to be back on display, brand-new. They ought to spend some money on getting him an air conditioner, though.

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