FACT CHECK: Was A Bust Of Abraham Lincoln Recently Burned In Chicago?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims a bust of former President Abraham Lincoln was recently burned in Chicago.

Verdict: False

The incident pictured occurred in 2017, not 2020. There is no record to date of the bust being burned during recent protests.

Fact Check:

Numerous statues across the country have been vandalized amid protests against racial injustice and police brutality following the May 25 death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, in Minneapolis police custody, according to The Hill.

Facebook users recently shared photos showing a burnt bust of Lincoln along with the claim that the damage happened during the first week of June in Chicago. One such post credits “anarchists” with wrapping it in tar paper and setting it on fire.

However, the incident pictured in the photos took place in 2017, roughly three years before the current protests started. Local NBC affiliate WMAQ included similar photos of damage in its report about the bust being vandalized in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood in August 2017. Chicago Ald. Raymond Lopez also posted a picture of the damage on Facebook at the time, calling it “an absolute disgraceful act.”

There is no evidence that the bust has been torched during recent protests to date. Had it happened, local media outlets would have reported on it, yet they don’t appear to have done so. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show The Lincoln Memorial Defaced And Damaged Following George Floyd Protests?)

Lopez told The Associated Press on June 15 that the bust is “fine and perfect” in its new location at the Chicago Public Library’s West Englewood branch.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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