No, the Arc de Triomphe has not been decorated for LGBTQ+ Pride month

By: Sam Doak
June 5 2023

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No, the Arc de Triomphe has not been decorated for LGBTQ+ Pride month


The Verdict False

The video depicting this was digitally created. In reality, the monument has not been decorated or altered in the manner shown.

Claim ID 84f8ba22


Since June 1, 2023, a video of the Arc de Triomphe has circulated widely on Facebook and Twitter, showing the Paris monument wrapped in a decorative rainbow, which has elicited a backlash in some circles, with some taking issue with the idea that a war memorial and symbol of national identity should be associated with Pride Month. 

Among the groups that have taken issue with the video in question is Britain First, who posted it on Twitter with the caption, "The Arc de Triomphe in Paris has been defaced with a giant Rainbow to celebrate Pride." The British far-right organization Traditional Britain Group was similarly disapproving, writing on Facebook, "The French rebrand their military monument, the Arc de Triomphe, a kind of equivalent to the Cenotaph as 'The Rainbow of Triumph', wrapping it in a homosexual/transsexual flag. It sits above a grave of the Unknown Soldier."

Despite the reaction this video has elicited online, the Arc De Triomphe has not been decorated in the manner shown. 

In Fact 

The video in question is actually a digital artwork created by artist Ian Padgham. Padgham posted it on Twitter with the caption, "Arc-en-ciel de Triomphe, Paris. Happy #PrideMonth everyone!!" Responding to a comment, he elaborated on the process used to create it, stating, "No AI was used. Just me doing 3D animation and lots of hand-edited details." 

The Associated Press (AP) reports that Pagham "Recorded footage of the monument, some while traveling in a taxi, and later used programs such as Adobe After Effects and Cinema 4D to add the installation." Padgham told the AP, "It was intended to just be a really positive message of support as an ally and someone who loves the community." On his creation being shared outside of its intended context, Padgham said, "The problem with social media of course is if something goes viral, you kind of lose control of the messaging."

Recent photographs of the Arc De Triomphe are available on platforms such as Instagram and Tripadvisor. None show the monument decorated as shown in Padgham's video, nor is there any mention of such an installation on the attraction's official website or social media accounts.

The Verdict 

The Arc de Triomphe has not been decorated for LGBTQ+ Pride Month. The artwork's creator has clarified that the video was made digitally. Recent photographs of the monument confirm that it has not been altered in the manner shown. This claim has therefore been marked as false. 

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