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A U.S. and a Spanish flag pins are seen on a life-sized wax statue of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump during an unveiling ceremony at Madrid's wax museum in Madrid, Spain, January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Susana Vera

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MADRID (Reuters) - A topless activist from the feminist group FEMEN attacked a life-size wax statue of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump during an unveiling ceremony at Madrid's wax museum on Tuesday.

Reuters journalists at the scene saw the woman push past security ropes and place her hand on the statue's crotch while screaming "grab patriarchy by the balls."

Museum staff spent several minutes trying to restrain the woman before eventually bundling her out through a back door.

The activist group claimed responsibility for the protest on Twitter, saying: "FEMEN just grabbed Trump's statue by the balls in Madrid." In a recording leaked last October, Trump spoke of grabbing women "by the pussy".

Gonzalo Presa, head of communications at the museum, called the woman's protest "unpleasant" and said he had hoped to give a "special welcome" to Donald Trump from Madrid.

"If they want to do this they should do it directly to him. This is too easy," he told a Reuters reporter.

Artisans had spent over three days creating the wax figure, paying special attention to the colour and style of Trump´s signature hair, Presa said.

FEMEN, an international group which began in Ukraine, is known for using nudity in protests over women´s rights.

(Reporting by Amanda Calvo; Editing by Angus Berwick and Andrew Roche)

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