A video of man vandalising a statue in public was shared with a claim that he’s a “migrant Muslim destroying a statue in Italy.”
A Twitter user shared this video on 11 June with the caption, “A muslim migrant destroying a statue in Italy , b’cos part of the body is showing. Europe does not know what is coming their way in next 5 to 15 years..”
In the video, a long bearded man wearing a white ankle-length dishdasha is seen repeatedly striking the statue of a woman with a chisel. A crowd gathers around him with a few of them throwing items at him in an attempt to stop him from breaking the statue. Later in the video, a few people in uniform appear and force the man down from the base of the statue.
The two-minute twenty-seconds video clip can be viewed below.
Newschecker received this claim on its Whatsapp tiplipe for verification.
Fact Check / Verification
The video in context was broken down into keyframes using Invid, an online verification tool. We then performed a Google reverse image search of certain keyframes that led us to an article on the website alitaliyanews.
The article’s description read that an Algerian citizen vandalised a “historical statue of a woman on the pretext that it is “haram” in “Sétif.” The incident took place on 18 December 2017 as per the article. It claims the statue is of Ain Fouara dating back to 1898 and made by the French sculptor Francis San Vida.
We also found a 2018 blogpost which debunks this claim. Linking to an article on the Italian website askanews.it, it quotes, “A large 19th century statue practically destroyed with a chisel by a bearded man dressed in the typical Salafist clothes, a radical version of political Islam. It happened in Setif, a Roman-era city in northeastern Algeria.”
The article further states that “the statue of a naked woman two meters high, called the Fountain of Ain El Fouara (“Spring Spring”) was created in 1898 by the French sculptor Francis de Saint-Vidal, and is the most famous monument in the city.”
A Twitter user condemned the incident in December 2017.
Please note we could not independently verify whether the man seen vandalising the statue is a migrant or not.
A Google search of “Fountain of Ain El Fouara” confirmed that the statue is located in Avenue Du 8 Mai, Setif, Algeria.
Photograph of the statue is also on Getty Images with the caption, “SETIF, ALGERIA – JULY 31: July 31th, 2012, Town of Setif, Algeria. Ain El Fouara fountain,” credited to Reza.
A Google street view of Ain El Fouara statue in Sétif matches the statue in the video.
The video of man vandalising a statue in public with the claim “migrant Muslim destroying a statue in Italy” is misleading. Though the video is real, the incident took place in Setif, Algeria.
Result: Misplaced Context
Waleed Al-husseini: https://twitter.com/W_Alhusseini/status/942754979441467392
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