A George Floyd mural in Manchester was not chosen over a Lee Rigby memorial

14 May 2021
What was claimed

Manchester City Council commissioned a mural of George Floyd over one of Lee Rigby.

Our verdict

Manchester City Council said they made no decision about the George Floyd mural in the city’s Northern Quarter.

A Facebook post, claims that Labour councillors in Manchester chose to approve a city centre mural of George Floyd over one of Lee Rigby. This is not correct.

George Floyd, an African American from Minneapolis, was murdered in 2020 by a police officer who knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes. His killing sparked civil rights and anti-racism protests across the world. Fusilier Lee Rigby was a British soldier from Middleton, Greater Manchester, murdered by extremists in Woolwich, London in 2013. 

There was a George Floyd mural in Stevenson Square in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. It was produced by graffiti artist Akse P19 in June 2020. 

However, we spoke to Manchester City Council who told us it was “a complete fabrication” that councillors had to choose between a George Floyd or Lee Rigby memorial. 

The City Council said resident’s group The Northern Quarter Forum and street art curators outhousemcr are responsible for murals and public art in this part of the Northern Quarter area of Manchester city centre.

The authority said it has no involvement “with what is chosen to exhibit, how long it stays, or anything else around it.”

It added: “There has been a lot of MCC involvement with the George Floyd mural but that is only when it's been defaced as street cleansing and tackling ASB do fall within our remit.”

The mural was repeatedly defaced, several times with racist graffiti, and was recently replaced.

A memorial in Fusilier Rigby's name was unveiled in 2015 at Middleton Memorial Gardens. We have fact checked other claims about memorials for him previously.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because Manchester City Council did not approve street art projects where the mural was displayed.

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