An old video of a man vandalising a statue at the famous Ain El Fouara Fountain in Algeria has been revived with a misleading claim that it shows a Muslim migrant destroying a statue in Italy.
The two minute 45-second clip shows a man in a white tunic hacking off with the breast of the female statue atop a fountain with a hammer and chisel as angry bystanders protests, some throw stones at the man. Three police officers try to stop the man who threatens them with his hammer.
BOOM received this message on its WhatsApp helpline number (+91 7700906111) which reads, “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. They used to give lessons to Bharat on human rights and minority respect, now they will know how Muslims will behave.”
The video is viral with the same caption on Facebook.
BOOM broke the video into key frames and ran a reverse image search which showed media reports of the incident from Algeria in 2017.
‘A Muslim man armed with a hammer and chisel vandalised the statue in the northern Algerian town of Sétif in Algiers on December 18, 2017’, France 24 reported.
It was also reported by British tabloid Daily Mail.
Several onlookers who recorded the incident also uploaded it on social media condemning it.
Below is a tweet from December 18, 2017, the day of the incident, with the video included in it.
BOOM further confirmed the location of the fountain by French sculptor Francis de Saint-Vidal, using Google maps.
The Google street view of Ain El Fouara statue in Sétif matches the statue in the viral video.
The Ain El Fouara statue is a famous monument in Algeria which was earlier damaged in a bomb blast on April 22, 1997, and on February 28 2006, an Islamist damaged the statue with a hammer. (Click here to read more)
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Anmol Alphonso is a fact-checker with BOOM. He has previously interned at IndiaSpend as a fact-checker and was a reporting intern at Times of India, Indian Express, and Mid-Day. He is a post-graduate diploma holder in journalism from St Paul’s Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai.
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