The statue of General Robert E. Lee in Richmond (Virginia), in the United States, on June 18, 2020. - TASOS KATOPODIS / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP
- On Facebook and Twitter, the photo of a statue showing a rider proudly mounted on horseback is shared by several Internet users, who take offense at the damage (graffiti, signs ...) committed on his pedestal.
- To believe them, the monument would be located in France.
- If it has been degraded, it is actually located in the United States and pays homage to Robert E. Lee, a controversial figure in the American Civil War.
With our backs turned to the few people gathered at the bottom of his pedestal, a rider proudly mounted on his steed dominates the surrounding decor. And in particular the countless tags, slogans and signs clearly visible at his feet.
As many degradations which arouse the indignation of several Internet users who recently relayed this photo with the same comment: "NOT A WORD TO THE INFORMATION of 13 Hours, it is not beautiful France, it is to vomit ..."
However, if these inscriptions are well linked to recent mobilizations against controversial historical figures, in the context of the lively debate on racism revived by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis (Minnesota), they did not take place in France but in the United States. Around a statue of Robert E. Lee, the general at the head of the Confederate armies during the American Civil War, who opposed the abolition of slavery.
A simple observation of the image already shows that all the visible slogans are written there in English, whether it be the many "fuck" or "BLM" for "Black lives matter" ("La vie des Noirs" account ”).
We find the photo in question - among many others of the monument - on an article on the RVA HUB site dated June 8, entitled "The demonstrations 'Black Lives Matter' continue on Monument Avenue".
This famous avenue, located in Richmond (Virginia), the former capital of the Confederate States, indeed became, in June, a place of assembly and protest, hence these degradations on the statue erected in 1890. The numerous shots produced by photojournalists attest to this, in addition to the various reports produced on site.
The debunking of the statue announced by the city also gives rise to a legal debate, since some residents contest this announced withdrawal, on the grounds that it would lower the value of property in the neighborhood.
No, this photo does not show Black Panthers destroying statues of Christ in the United States
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