‘Pride installation' on Arc de Triomphe is animated video

5 June 2023
What was claimed

The Arc de Triomphe has been decorated with a large rainbow installation to celebrate Pride.

Our verdict

This is not a real installation. It’s an animation, created by an artist who has created many similar works inspired by famous landmarks.

Posts on social media, shared hundreds of times, claim that the iconic Arc de Triomphe in Paris has been “defaced” with a giant rainbow installation to celebrate Pride Month. 

The posts, which have also been shared on Facebook, include a video which appears to show a large rainbow encircling the monument, arching over the road and ending with a cloud-shaped sculpture bearing the words “marche des fiertés”, which means “pride parade” in French

It appears that some social media users have believed that this is a physical installation in Paris, but i’s actually a 3D animation created by Ian Padgham, an artist from California now living in France. 

He has shared a number of different animations on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, such as a wine bottle-shaped tram and partially-collapsed Big Ben.  

The artist told AP that he had created the animation of the Arc de Triomphe with a mixture of recorded footage and programmes such as Adobe After Effects, and that the video—posted on 1 June (the first day of Pride Month)—”was intended to just be a really positive message of support as an ally and someone who loves the community”. 

He also told Reuters: “Nothing you see is real, no money was spent to produce this, no organisations lobbied to have this done. It was simply an artwork I made in 3D to celebrate love and equality.”

Recent footage, such as a livestream hosted by World Rugby on 1 June, shows the monument in Paris without the rainbow installation. 

Misleading images and videos are some of the most common kinds of misinformation we see online, but they can sometimes be hard to spot. It’s always worth checking if a picture shows what the post says it does before you share it—we have written a guide on how to do so here.

Image courtesy of canmandawe

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.