Is the viral photo of French President Macron swamped in wreaths real?

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A photograph of French President Emmanuel Macron swamped in wreaths, or “leis” has become the talk of the town and has turned into a meme fest on social media.

Claim:

The viral photograph shows Macron covered in floral wreaths extending from his neck to knee. Netizens across various social media platforms are circulating the viral image with the claim that it is a photograph taken during his recent visit to French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France with five archipelagoes in the south-central Pacific Ocean.

Twitter

Several Twitter users including some with verified profiles tweeted about the viral photograph. A verified Twitter user named Noga Tarnopolsky, who as per her Twitter bio is an Israel and Palestine reporter tweeted the viral photograph and captioned it as –

“President Macron is turned into a human wreath during his official welcome to French Polynesia.”

Her tweet had garnered more than 32 thousand likes and more than seven thousand retweets while writing this news report.

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Another verified Twitter user named Amichai Stein, who as per his Twitter bio is a correspondent at Kann (Israel’s Broadcasting Corporation), tweeted the viral photo and also a video about the same.

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Naveen Kapoor, National bureau chief of news agency ANI, quote tweeted Amichai Stein’s tweet as –

“कौन कहता है कि सिर्फ़ भारत में ही नेता लोगों को फूल पसंद है ।”

Translation –

“Who says that only politicians in India like flowers.”

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Facebook

A verified Facebook user named Parthiban Shanmugam, who according to his profile is an attorney, strategic & defense analyst, human rights advocate, and filmmaker also posted the viral image on his Facebook profile and captioned it as –

“France 🇫🇷 President Emmanuel Macron is turned into a human wreath during his official welcome to French Polynesia 🇵🇫 ”

 

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Truth

The viral image is photoshopped, it is not real.

(Photo: Screengrab/Euronews)

 

In order to dig out the truth, we did a keyword search on Google and came across a news report filed by ‘Euronews‘ (a Pan-European television news network, headquartered in Lyon, France) titled “French president Macron visits former colonies in French Polynesia,” the news report contains a one minute and twenty seconds long video clip of President Macron, being greeted upon his arrival in Tahiti’s main city of Papeete. We paused the video at 54th second and took a screenshot, we then compared the screenshot to the viral photograph and realized that the viral image is fake and photoshopped. Tahiti is an island in French Polynesia.

 

 

(Photo: Screengrab/Euronews’ Youtube Channel)

 

During our investigation, we also managed to locate the same video as filed in the news report titled “French president Macron visits former colonies in French Polynesia” on Euronews’ official Youtube channel.

The news report titled “French president Macron visits former colonies in French Polynesia” was also tweeted by Euronews from its official Twitter handle ‘@euronews‘ on 25 July 2021 at 9:32 PM.

 

 

Photo of the same moment as captured in the viral image but taken from a different angle

 

While we were watching the one minute and twenty seconds video embedded in the news report filed by Euronews in regards to President Macron’s visit to French Polynesia we observed a text beneath the video that read – “Copyright  LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP or licensors”

Taking cues from it, we searched for ‘Ludovic Marin’ on the web and discovered his Twitter Profile; Ludovic Marin is a photojournalist who works for the international news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP). The original photos of President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to French Polynesia can be accessed by visiting his profile; his Twitter handle is – ‘@ludovic_marin.’

Therefore, we conclude that the viral image in which President Macron can be seen covered in wreaths from neck to knee is photoshopped and misleading.

Rupesh Kumar

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Rupesh Kumar

A Journalism student at Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication, who writes out of sheer avidity and has a nose for news, seeking to leverage skills to contribute to high-quality journalism.