July 2, 2020 / 12:01 PM / a month ago

Fact check: Jimi Hendrix photo does not show graffiti connected to Black Lives Matters

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

A photo showing graffiti on a statue of musician Jimi Hendrix has been shared on Facebook with the suggestion that the vandalism is connected to the Black Lives Matter movement. This is not true.

The photo appears in one post (here) with overlaid text that reads: “The moment you realize it’s not about Black Lives anymore, it’s only about vandalism”. Another version of the photo with thousands of shares (here) carries the caption: “ALL STATUE LIVES MATTER”, implying a link with recent protests.

The Jim Hendrix statue is located in Seattle (www.google.com/maps/@47.6154009,-122.3208598,3a,75y,97.65h,85.84t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sK1B1Lfo-84oTybcuIjl1xQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192), his place of birth.

According to a news report from the Seattle Times, the photo was taken in September, 2013, after two men were arrested for spraying blue paint at a number of locations, including the statue, while intoxicated (here).

Some confusion about the source of the graffiti may stem from a Facebook post by a niece of Jimi Hendrix on June 24 (here). In the post Tina Hendrix shares the same photo and writes: “Each time Jimi’s statue is defaced our family feels very hurt. It seems to happen on a regular basis. I’ve been working to get the statue moved to Jimi’s old neighborhood where it belongs. Thanks for your support”. She did not note the date the photo was taken.

VERDICT

False. The photo showing blue paint on the statue of Jimi Hendrix was taken in 2013 and is not connected to the Black Lives Matter movement.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work (here).

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