Winston Churchill painting, during a visit to Florida, January 29, 1946. -


  • Several personalities from the world of the arts share a quote attributed to Winston Churchill since the announcement of the curfew in nine French metropolises.

  • The British politician did not make these comments, although he expressed similar feelings.

Yes, Winston Churchill enjoyed art (he painted and received the Nobel Prize for Literature).

Yes, he is known for his sense of the phrase ("blood, toil, tears and sweat",



But no, the former British Prime Minister did not say his country was fighting to save the arts.

However, a quote attributed to him has been circulating on social networks since the announcement on Wednesday of the curfew imposed on nine metropolises.

This is the text: "When Winston Churchill was asked to cut the arts budget for the war effort, he replied, 'So why are we fighting?'"

This message was notably shared by the actress Frédérique Bel on Instagram, then relayed by Joey Starr or the dancer and choreographer Marie-Agnès Gillot.

These words are not authentic.

- Instagram screenshot


The quote is false, explained in 2009 and 2017 Richard Langworth, historian and member of the Churchill Project at the University of Hillsdale in the United States.

David Freeman, of the International Churchill Society, also denied the authenticity of the quote to our American colleagues at Politifact.

However, as Richard Langworth points out, Winston Churchill "expressed similar sentiments" in 1938. "The arts are essential to all complete national life," he declared in April 1938 to the Royal Academy.

The State must support and encourage them.

The country has, along with the Royal Academy, an institution of wealth and power which aims to encourage the arts of painting and sculpture.


Fake quotes abound on social networks.

Recently, it was Madame de Sévigné who was summoned, once again, wrongly.


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