By: Sam Doak
April 24 2023
This mural was created in 2006 to promote the game Gears of War.
In recent weeks, an image has been circulating showing what some have claimed is an artwork at the headquarters of the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The organization, more commonly known as CERN, has long drawn the attention of conspiracy theorists because of the high-profile experiments at its particle physics laboratory in Switzerland.
The photograph in question shows several people gathered around an artwork depicting demonic figures emerging from a hole in the floor. Believing the location shown to be CERN’s headquarters, some on social media have concluded that the photograph is proof of the organization’s purportedly sinister nature. One such user commented, “The lobby at CERN; Nothing at all demonic to see here… Move along please.” Despite no evidence that the photograph was taken in a location related to CERN, this tweet garnered over 400 retweets and 700 likes.
Using a reverse image search, it is possible to determine that this photograph was taken at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2006. This event is held annually as a trade event for companies related to the video game industry.
The work shown was created by artist Kurt Wenner. A page on Wenner’s website confirms this. Alongside a photograph of the artwork, Wenner states, “This was the first of several works I designed for the E3 gaming exposition in Los Angeles.” A video uploaded to the artist’s YouTube channel in 2013 shows a timelapse of him completing the project, further proving that Wenner is the artist behind the piece in question.
Speaking to Reuters, Wenner has confirmed that he created the artwork in question as part of a promotion for “Gears of War.” The sinister figures shown appear to have been inspired by characters in this game. Wenner told Reuters, “Microsoft gave me images from the game Gears of War to use in my design.”
In response to queries from Reuters, a spokesperson from CERN denied the presence of any artwork resembling Wenner’s at their headquarters, stating, “We have not had this mural (nor a similar one) featured on our campus.”
This image does not show an artwork located at CERN’s headquarters. It depicts a work created to promote the video game Gears of War in 2006. This claim has therefore been marked as false.