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Photo depicting Osimhen’s statue in Napoli, fabricated

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Claim: Photo showing the statue of Victor Osimhen in Napoli.

Photo depicting Osimhen’s statue in Napoli, fabricated

Verdict: The image was sourced from the internet, doctored and used to push a false narrative.

Full Text

On April 13, 2024, Emeka Yankee, a Facebook user, posted the photograph of a monument said to be the statue of Victor Osimhen in Napoli. Describing the picture, he wrote: “Status of Victor Osimehn in Napoli. No, forget to follow Emeka Yankee.”

Mr Osimhen, 25, is a professional footballer from Nigeria. He plays as a striker for the Nigerian national team and Serie A club in Napoli, a city in Southern Italy. The footballer is famous for his record-breaking transfer to Napoli in 2020 at about €70 million, making him the most expensive African player in history at the time.  

In June 2023, Angu Lesley, an X user, made a similar claim. He attached the same image to his post: “VICTOR OSIMHEN’s STATUE has erected in NAPOLI to honour him for bringing them back their pride. What a historic gesture!!!”

Considering the subject’s prominence and the recurring nature of the claim, DUBAWA decided to carry out this fact check.

Verification

Upon close inspection of the image, we noticed several odd aspects. Although artisans can craft lifelike sculptures, the image appears like a photograph. So, we conducted a keyword search on Google. This revealed multiple blog posts supporting the same claim under examination. 

We then conducted a Google Reverse Image Search on the photo. This led us to a replica of the image. However, it was a typical statue and not of the football star.

Photo depicting Osimhen’s statue in Napoli, fabricated

The alleged statue of Mr Osimhen. Photo Source: Grandenapoli.

Photo depicting Osimhen’s statue in Napoli, fabricated
The original photograph. Photo Source: iStock.

In the images above, item number one shows the photo of Mr Osimehn and the statue of Dante Alighieri, an Italian poet and philosopher. 

The Dante Alighieri statue, found in Napoli, Italy, was inaugurated on July 13, 1871. The monument was created by two sculptors—Tito Angelini and Tommaso Solari junior—and placed on a base designed by Gherardo Rega. As it can be perceived, Mr Alighieri’s statue was removed from the base and replaced with the footballer’s photograph, perhaps through Photoshop.

Item two on the images is identical. It depicts a woman sitting while a man wearing a black t-shirt and a baseball cap stands before her. The scene becomes clearer in the second image, where additional people stand beside them. This suggests that the original image was cropped.

Two noticeable details in item three: individuals seated next to a parked bicycle and two white canopies across the square.

Furthermore, we analysed the viral image using Invid, an image verification tool. The result flagged the entire area where Mr Osimhen’s photo appeared, confirming that this image had been doctored.

Photo depicting Osimhen’s statue in Napoli, fabricated

We also pinpointed the exact location of the piece of art through Google Maps. A street view image from April 2023 confirmed that it remains in place.

Photo depicting Osimhen’s statue in Napoli, fabricated
A screenshot of spectators at the statue of Dante Alighieri in April 2023. Photo Source: Google Maps.

Conclusion

Our findings proved that the image used to depict Mr Osimhen’s statue in Napoli was doctored. The claim is false.

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