FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show The Lincoln Memorial Defaced And Damaged Following George Floyd Protests?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows the statue of former President Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial covered in graffiti and missing a chunk of his head.

Verdict: False

The image is fake. Graffiti at the Lincoln Memorial was “limited to the plinth at the bottom of the steps,” according to a spokesperson from the National Mall and Memorial Parks.

Fact Check:

Several monuments and memorials on the National Mall were defaced with graffiti during protests that erupted in Washington, D.C., following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, CNN reported.

One image, purportedly taken during the aftermath of such protests, shows the statue of Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial covered in graffiti and missing a chunk from his head. Phrases such as “Black + Brown Lives Matter” and “#BLM” have allegedly been spray-painted on and near Lincoln’s likeness, according to the photo.

“This picture was taken down,” reads the caption. “I guess the left is trying to hide what they did to honest abe.” (RELATED: Trump Says Lincoln Was Ridiculed For The Gettysburg Address)

Mike Litterst, chief of communications for the National Mall and Memorial Parks, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the photo is fake, however.

“The picture is 100% fake,” said Litterst in an email. “Graffiti at the Lincoln Memorial was limited to the plinth at the bottom of the steps, well away from the statue (and it has been removed).”

The official Twitter account for the National Mall and Memorial Parks tweeted photos of the actual damage done to the monuments, which included the phrase “Yall not tired yet?” spray-painted on the Lincoln Memorial’s plinth.

“In the wake of last night’s demonstrations, there are numerous instances of vandalism to sites around the National Mall,” the May 31 tweet reads. “For generations the Mall has been our nation’s premier civic gathering space for non-violent demonstrations, and we ask individuals to carry on that tradition.”

Multiple media outlets, including CNN, The Washington Times and Fox News, reported about the graffiti on the Lincoln Memorial, but none mentioned any damage or graffiti to Lincoln’s likeness.

Protests for justice following the death of Floyd have occurred in D.C. for over a week, per The Washington Post.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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