Amid French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to French Polynesia this week, an image of him covered in garlands from top to knee with captions including ‘human wreath’ is circulating on social media platforms.
The image shows Macron being greeted by official dignitaries and wearing a pile of garlands that fall to his knees.
The image has been tweeted by journalist Noga Tarnopolsky with the caption, “President Macron is turned into a human wreath during his official welcome to French Polynesia.” Tarnopolsky’s tweet garnered over 41K likes and 5700 retweets at the time of writing this article.
Facebook users have also shared Macron’s image as a human wreath in the past week. One such user’s caption reads, “Good grief!! Are these people welcoming President Macron or burying him? Looks more like a wreath than a garland.”
Fact Check / Verification
A keyword search related to President Macron’s first official visit to the ocean territory led us to multiple news reports from the past week. A report published by Euronews on 25 July shows Macron being greeted with flowers and an orero on arrival in Tahiti’s main city of Papeete.
On watching the one-minute twenty-second video clip published by Euronews we found a similar keyframe to the viral image of Macron wearing garlands. But contrary to the viral image, the video’s keyframe (at 55-second timestamp) does not show Macron covered in flowers till his knees.
A comparison of the viral image and the keyframe from Euronews’ video report can be seen below.
Macron’s visit was meant to focus on China’s growing assertiveness in the Pacific region, climate change, and the legacy of French nuclear tests conducted between 1966 and 1996.
The viral image of French President Macron covered in garlands from top to knee as if he were a human wreath is morphed. The original images show him wearing only a few garlands on his arrival in French Polynesia.