No, this isn’t a real structure by a Syrian artist made from the ruins of his home

By: Tahil Ali
May 29 2024

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
No, this isn’t a real structure by a Syrian artist made from the ruins of his home

Users on social media shared a photo claiming a Syrian artist made this Statue of Liberty replica from the debris of his house. (Source: Facebook / Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The viral image of the structure modeled after the Statue of Liberty was digitally created by a Syrian artist. It is not an actual physical statue.

Claim ID 7b174785

What is the claim? 

A photograph of a statue made out of rubble resembling the Statue of Liberty is circulating on social media platforms with the claim that it was constructed by a Syrian artist using the debris from his destroyed house. 

A social media on X (formerly Twitter) posted this photograph with the caption, "This was built by a Syrian artist from the ruins of his house. With the slogan: "This is the freedom they brought us.""

This claim has been viral on social media since 2016 and has gained traction again recently. Archived versions of posts sharing the image linking it to the ruins of Syrian house can be seen here, here, here, here, and here.

 Screenshot of social media posts claiming that the replica of Statue of Liberty was created by a Syrian artist from the debris of his ruined home. (Source: Facebook, X / Modified by Logically Facts)

However, we found that this image is from 2012 and was digitally created by a Syrian artist. It is not an actual physical structure.

What are the facts?

A reverse image search led us to the original photograph (archived here) posted by a Syrian artist, Tammam Azzam, on his official Facebook account on September 9, 2012. The photo is captioned "Statue of Liberty (Photomontage)."

Screenshot of the original photo posted in 2012. (Source: Tammam Azzam-Facebook / Modified by Logically Facts)

We then conducted a search using relevant keywords and came across an interview given by Azzam to Al-Arabiya News, a state-ownwed Saudi Arabia-based news channel. In the interview, Azzam mentioned that the work was created using a photomontage on the computer and is not a real statue. He further stated in the interview, "The Statue of Liberty in New York does not represent U.S. politics and I used it only as the symbol of freedom, the piece at the time was carrying a message of optimism despite all of the destruction in Syria."

A photo montage is a single-image of two or made using more original and/or existing images. 

Logically Facts contacted Azzam, who called the claim false and said, "I created this montage as a symbol of the freedom that the Syrian people have sought and continue to seek in a country that has been devastated by the regime's response to their demonstrations." Reiterating that the image is a  photo montage of the Statue of Liberty, he added, "The photo in question was indeed created by me entirely digitally, using scanned elements and graphics, which is evident in many parts."

Who is Tammam Azzam? 

Azzam was born in Damascus, Syria and was later forced to flee the Syrian Civil War. In 2011, he moved to Dubai and currently works and lives in Berlin, Germany. He expresses the loss and tragedy of his home country through his art forms.

Often using visual metaphors, Azzam's prominent works include Syrian Museum, a photomontage series featuring the works of prominent European artists, drawing comparisons between humanity's greatest accomplishments and its capacity for causing destruction. Bon Voyage is another photomontage series depicting a ruined building attached to a cluster of balloons hovering over various landmarks and political headquarters. 

The Syrian Civil War

In 2011, discontent with President Bashar al-Assad's rule led to widespread protests and demonstrations in various parts of Syria. The Syrian government responded by employing forceful tactics involving police and military to stop the unrest. Despite these measures, protests persisted into a full-blown civil war in 2012 and eventually gave rise to multiple rebel factions in Syria by 2013. In 2022, the United Nations estimated that more than 306,000 civilians have been killed since March 2011 in the country. 

While the U.S. indicated support to opposition groups since the beginning of the war, it only got itself officially militarily involved in 2014 against ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), noted Al Jazeera. The U.S. had designated Syria a 'State Sponsor of Terrorism' in 1979 and put additional sanctions on the country in 2004. Under former President Donald Trump, some of the U.S. troops in Syria were withdrawn in 2019."

The verdict

Social media users have falsely claimed that the viral image shows a statue inspired by the Statue of Liberty constructed from debris by a Syrian artist. It is actually a digitally created artwork dating back to 2012. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before