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Abraham Lincoln monument safe in Chicago neighborhood

June 15, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: An Abraham Lincoln monument was recently torched in Chicago.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. A news article published in June falsely suggests that an Abraham Lincoln statue was burned in Chicago during protests that turned violent in the city. The incident happened in 2017, not recently.

THE FACTS: Facebook and Instagram users are sharing a news article that wrongly suggests a bust of former President Abraham Lincoln was torched last week in Chicago.

Time has not always been kind to the bust of Abraham Lincoln since it was first erected on Aug. 31, 1926. Lincoln was spray painted, stolen, had its nose knocked off and then, finally, set on fire in August 2017 while perched on a street corner in Chicago’s West Englewood neighborhood.


But reports that it was torched during recent protests in Chicago are false.

The bust of Lincoln is doing fine in its new location at the Chicago Public Library’s West Englewood branch, where it was relocated in 2018 after being restored, Chicago Ald. Raymond Lopez told the Associated Press Monday.

“Abraham Lincoln is well preserved in my community,” Lopez said. “It’s fine and perfect in its location.”

Lopez posted on Facebook about the statue being burned in August 2017, and the false reports claiming that Lincoln was burned _ again _ link to that old post.

The misleading article about the Lincoln statue was written and published days after protests, some of which turned violent and resulted in damaged property in Chicago, over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck for several minutes.

“An Absolute Disgraceful Act: Abraham Lincoln Monument Torched in Chicago,” the headline of the article says.

The article was also shared on Instagram.

“Abraham Lincoln, aka The Great Emancipator, signed the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, freeing the slaves as the United States descended into Civil War. The left doesn’t care about that after all,” the Instagram post says.


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536