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Syrian artist Tammam Azzam poses in front of his digital print, "Syrian Olympic," during the Young Collectors Auction at Ayyam gallery in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. Another of his works is a frequently mischaracterized. (AP) Syrian artist Tammam Azzam poses in front of his digital print, "Syrian Olympic," during the Young Collectors Auction at Ayyam gallery in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. Another of his works is a frequently mischaracterized. (AP)

Syrian artist Tammam Azzam poses in front of his digital print, "Syrian Olympic," during the Young Collectors Auction at Ayyam gallery in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. Another of his works is a frequently mischaracterized. (AP)

Sofia Ahmed
By Sofia Ahmed May 28, 2024

This viral artwork was created digitally, not with the ruins of a Syrian house

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  • Tammam Azzam, the artist, told media outlets he created the photomontage on a computer. 

A 2012 viral image by a Syrian artist of a Statue of Liberty-inspired structure is being mischaracterized online. 

"A Syrian artist built this with the ruins of his house," a May 23 Facebook post said. The post includes an image of building blocks reconstructed to resemble the Statue of Liberty. 

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)


(Screengrab from Facebook)

But Tammam Azzam, the art’s creator, has repeatedly told media outlets that the image was made digitally, not from his home’s ruins. 

Azzam first shared the image on Facebook in 2012 with the caption, "Statue of Liberty (Photomontage)." A photomontage is created by combining multiple photographs. 

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Azzam told Agence France-Presse in 2021 that he created the artwork on a computer. "It was part of my photomontage series I did in Dubai (United Arab Emirates in) 2012, and it’s clearly photographed, repeated parts and scanned paper," Azzam said. 

He also told Al Arabiya, a Saudi state-owned news channel, in 2016 that his artwork had been wrongly interpreted. 

Azzam’s website includes many other photomontages. His website details how he uses "graphic design as a tool with which to overlay photos of destroyed buildings with European master paintings." 

We rate the claim that this image shows a Statue of Liberty replica built from a Syrian artist’s house ruins False. 

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This viral artwork was created digitally, not with the ruins of a Syrian house

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