Old False Claim of Man Vandalising Statue in Italy Resurfaces
The man vandalised the Ain El Fouara statue in Setif city in Algeria in 2017.
A video is doing the rounds on the internet with the claim that a Muslim man is vandalising a statue in Italy.
However, we found that although the video is true and the man was vandalising the Ain El Fouara statue, but the incident didn't take place in Italy, but in Algeria, a country in North Africa.
The video is being circulated on social media with the claim that a Muslim migrant is destroying a statue in Italy because “part of the body (of the statue) is showing”. It goes on to issue a warning to Europe about how “Muslims will behave”.
We found that the video was widely circulated in 2018 and 2019 with the same claim.
WHAT WE FOUND
Using InVID-WeVerify Google Chrome extension, we extracted keyframes from the video and conducted a reverse image search on some of them. In the search results on TinEye, we found a similar image that matched the statue.
Taking a cue from there, we ran a keyword search using ‘Ain El Fouara vandalised’ on Google and a host of articles popped up of the incident that took place in Setif city in Algeria.
An article by France 24 The observers on 19 December 2017 said that the man had chiseled off the face and breasts of the female statue at the Ain El Fouara on 18 December 2017, before he was arrested.
After this attack, the restored statue was unveiled on 4 August 2018. However, it was damaged again on 9 October 2018 and was repaired later.
The Ain El Fouara ("the fountain's source") statue is a work by French sculptor Francis de Saint-Vidal. Unveiled in 1898, the statue has been damaged on multiple occasions in the past.
We found the same image on Getty Images that showed a picture of the vandalised statue taken on 18 December 2017.
The caption read, “....according to the police, a man with mental disabilities vandalised the fountain made by French sculptor Francis de Saint-Vidal in 1899.”
Clearly, an old video has resurfaced on social media now with the false claim that the incident took place in Italy.
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