Polish model and social influencer Julia Slonska, 17, is facing the public’s wrath after she was recorded using a hammer to smash the nose off of a historic statue in a scheme to gain more Instagram followers. Laughter can be heard as the Warsaw resident repeatedly struck the sculpture. Recorded on May 11, the live video was posted on Instagram by a friend, who tagged Slonska. The teen model and her other friends then re-posted the video, causing it to go viral in Poland.
Here’s what you need to know about Julia Slonska and the backlash against her attempt to gain greater fame.
1. Slonska Says she was Drunk, Friends Encouraged her Vandalism & She Damaged the Statue so She Could Play Minecraft
According to Slonska, she and her friends had been drinking in the park just before the incident. The young woman told a Polish news site that she was drunk when one of her friends handed her a hammer and then encouraged her to damage the statue as a prank to get a larger Instagram following.
Slonska said she didn’t stop to think that she was damaging public property, considered it a silly prank and admitted that she “just wanted to play Minecraft.” Video of Julia and her friends hanging out in the park on the day she damaged the angel can be seen here.
According to the Polish website warszawawpigulce, Julia contacted authorities, admitting that she had damaged the piece of art. the site reports that the crime carries a penalty of anywhere from six months to 8 years in prison.
2. Slonska Has Issued an Online Apology
Slonska apologized online for defacing the angel. “What happened yesterday should not have taken place at all and seriously, I regret that I did it. I’m so stupid. I will not say what was driving me, why I did it because it is more of a private affair, but I really wanted to apologize to everyone.”
Since the incident occurred, the model with just over 6,000 followers has taken down her Facebook page and has remained quiet on social media.
3. Slonska’s Apology has Angered People Around the World
Slonska’s apology has not only infuriated Polish citizens, but viewers worldwide, who feel her remorse was insincere. Hundreds of comments have appeared on social media demanding that Slonska be punished for her behavior.
“Nobody cares, that private matters, if you spoil the national heritage, which is a showcase of Poland, and someone who thinks it’s ONLY angel … you fuck how you can be so selfish, maybe for others it is important to cultivate these remnants of history
“For fun to destroy a monument?” Akemi Chan posted below Slonska’s video.
“This is the pinnacle of idiocy. She must be punished,” Marcel Sujecki commented.
Critics like Astrid Johannson commented on YouTube that the model and her friends came to the park ready to do damage. “Slonska’s group arrived at the park prepared with a hammer and were ready to record the incident. Had all this prepared and thoughtful, the (hammer) she brought herself from home, she gathered the cameramen who would immortalize her stupidity…” she noted.
“Sad. If you do not see beauty in architecture and destroy something that has survived for 200 years, then you should bear adequate financial and legal consequences. You are no longer 2 years old, so you deliberately acted so and not otherwise. It’s time to take advantage of the right of adulthood and pay for your actions. The apology appeared only because of the fear of popularity of the show on the insta … you are not too sorry for what you did, and only you are afraid that you will no longer profit from such profits … Maybe it will teach others that before they do something, they will think about it … although I sincerely doubt…” Lambsik wrote.
4. Slonska Appeared in a Popular Polish Bank Commercial That Has Now Cut Ties With Her
Slonska is an aspiring actor and model who recently appeared in a popular television ad campaign for mBank, the fourth largest bank in Poland. The financial institution is the first internet-based bank in the country. Slonska became recognizable as part of mBank’s #Najlepiej (#Best) ad campaign.
Although Slonska’s ad was produced weeks before the incident, mBank has received angry calls from customers about their spokesperson’s less than model behavior. Responding to public furor, mBank has pulled Slonska’s spot off of television and social media.
“At mBank, we do not agree to such behavior! That’s why we decided to withdraw the advertising spot from the issue. We do not want to be associated with an actress who, many weeks after the shooting, became famous for another role – a vandal,” mBank spokesperson Krzysztof Olszewski explained, saying they only wanted what he described as “carers” representing their bank. mBank did stress that “we can not be responsible for individual choices of such persons,” but has assured the public that they will not be re-hiring the teen for any future campaigns.
In addition to losing mBank as a client, Slonska’s modeling agency, Specto Models, terminated her contract on the same day the video appeared online.
5. The Angel is Considered a Historic Piece of Art
The angel damaged by Slonska is one of several pieces of valuable art in Warsaw’s Park Dolinka Szwajcarska. There are conflicting accounts regarding its age and history. Some reports say that the sculpture is 200 years old. Michał Krasucki, Warsaw’s Metropolitan Conservator of Monuments merely describes the angel as a “post-war sculpture,” but has not elaborated. The sculpture sits at the edge of a small round water feature. A statue depicting an angel holding an alligator is just feet away.
The park dates back to the 1700s but was famous during the mid-1800s as a garden, concert and theatre venue. Park Dolinka Szwajcarska contains several important sculptures including one dedicicated to Henryk Sławik and Węgrzyn Józef Antallowi, who worked to save 5,000 Polish Jews during the Holocaust.
Krasucki said he would be notifying the local police and prosecutor’s office. “This is first of all a conservation offense, but secondly it is also simply the destruction of municipal property. She hurt the sculpture and herself,” he told Gazeta Wyborcza. Previously defaced with graffiti, the sculpture’s nose has been modestly repaired but still shows signs of Slonska’s misdeed.