A photo of a painting by a Russian artist of the Hindu deity Krishna and the Pandavas is being shared with the false claim that it hangs in a palace in Panjshir, Afghanistan.
However, BOOM found that the painting is an artwork by Russian artist Rashikananda Das, who's a part of The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Speaking to BOOM, Das confirmed that the photo was of his artwork, which he painted in Sochi, Russia in 1999, and denied that it has any relation to Panjshir, Afghanistan.
The painting is being shared in the backdrop of Panjshir province falling into the hands of the Taliban, after they claimed to capture the district overthrowing the resistance fighter led by Ahmad Massoud. The hardline Islamic militant group had taken control of the country and recently formed a new government filled with hardliners declaring the country an Islamic Emirate.
The painting is being shared with the caption, "This painting exists (don't know for how many days more) in the Panjsheer Palace in the erstwhile Gandhara kingdom of Mahabharata time, the present day Afghanistan...."
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Viral on Facebook
The same painting is being shared on Facebook with the false claim.
BOOM found that the artwork is a painting by Russian artist Rashikananda Das and is not related or from Panjshir, Afghanistan as being claimed.
A reverse image search using Google Images showed results for the same painting on the website of a Russian art gallery - Art SPb in St Petersburg. The details of the painting in Russian state that it was painted by Rashikananda and the caption of the artwork reads, "KRISHNA AND THE PANDAVAS"
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Rasikananda's bio description states that he was born in 1973 in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Russia, and is a Member of the Creative Union of Artists of Russia and the International Federation of Artists (IFA). We also found his Facebook profile - Rasikananda Das, where he states that he is an artist and does artwork on Lord Krishna.
BOOM then reached out to Das, who confirmed that the painting in the photo is his and dismissed the claims that it is related to Panjshir, Afghanistan. "Yes it's my painting, I did it in Sochi, South Russia in 1999. The subject for this illustration is from Srimad Bhagavatam , 7-th canto. This painting is my original creation and it is not Panjshir at all"
Das also posted on Facebook denying the claims circulating on social media regarding the painting.
Additionally, We also reached out to the Russian Art gallery via email, who also confirmed that the painting is by Das.
"Rasikananda from Russia is the author of this work. And this is an indisputable fact. The painting was written for the seventh canto of Srimad Bhagavatam A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada," said ART SPb in an email to BOOM.
Additionally, we did not find any credible news reports on the painting being from Afghanistan's Panjshir or from a 'palace' in the Panjshir valley.
BOOM has been debunking viral misinformation and disinformation since the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan. You can view our fact-check articles in the thread below.
Claim : Painting of Lord Krishna with the Pandavas from Panjshir palace in Afghanistan
Claimed By : Facebook Posts
Fact Check : False