June 10, 2020 / 2:28 PM / a month ago

Fact check: Defaced Robert E. Lee statue falsely labelled as ‘London protest aftermath’

SENSITIVE MATERIAL. THIS IMAGE MAY OFFEND OR DISTURB People visit a monument of Confederate general Robert E. Lee after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered its removal after widespread civil unrest following the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Richmond, Virginia, U.S. June 5, 2020. REUTERS/Julia Rendleman - RC243H96W7LI

A number of Facebook posts, some with hundreds of shares as of June 10, share an image of a monument covered in graffiti and link it to anti-racism protests in London. The image is of a monument in the United States.

Some of the posts describe the image as taken in London ( here ) while others share screenshots of misleading posts about the photo ( here , here ). Many shares of the image suggest the graffiti is related to anti-racism protests that took place in London in early June.

The photo was taken in Richmond, Virginia, at a monument to Confederate commander Robert E. Lee. Images of the monument with graffiti matching that seen in the photo have been shared on social media since May 31 ( here , here , here ). The defaced monument has featured in reporting on anti-racism protests in the United States since the death of George Floyd on May 25 ( here here ).

The Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, ordered the removal of the statue on June 4 ( here ), but a 10-day injunction against this order was issued by a Virginia judge on June 8 ( here ).

VERDICT

False. Posts claiming to show damage from protests in London are using a photo of the defaced statue of Confederate soldier Robert E. Lee in Virginia.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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