Were World Leaders Photographed With ‘Satanic’ Artwork At 2022 NATO Summit?

Pictures accurately depict world leaders at the 2022 NATO summit visiting an exhibition of “satanic” artworks including gas masks and dead babies.

Fact check

In late June 2022, as world leaders gathered for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Madrid, Spain, photos surfaced online showing them inside the Prado Museum and supposedly standing next to “satanic” artwork featuring skulls, gas masks and dead bodies.

While it was true that politicians such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the museum during the meeting, these images are not authentic images of that visit. Rather, they were the work of digital editing.

The creators of the doctored photos used the bloody images to replace the actual artworks at the Prado Museum in Madrid.

Several of the actual photos can be found on Getty Images. They show Trudeau standing in front of a series of portraits and “La Inmaculada Concepción” (or “The Immaculate Conception”) by Peter Paul Rubens, and Macron looking at another Rubens work titled “The Three Graces,” for example.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits the Prado Museum in Madrid on June 29, 2022, while attending an official dinner during a NATO summit. (Photo by Bertrand GUAY/POOL/AFP)
Art gallery, art, painting
MADRID, SPAIN – JUNE 29: French President Emmanuel Macron arrives for a dinner with NATO member state leaders on the sidelines of the NATO summit at El Prado Museum on June 29, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Ballesteros – Pool/Getty Images)

The group photo shown below, which was also digitally altered, showed world leaders surrounding a painting titled “Las Meninas.”

Flooring, man, man
A family photo of Heads of State and Government attending the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by A. Ortega. Pool/Europa Press via Getty Images)

However, the photo of Johnson alone examining artworks was originally taken by Juanjo Martin for EFE. This photo can be found on the European Press Photo Agency website here. It is also published here and here. In it, he examines the oil painting “Emperor Charles V at Mulber” by Titian.

Given that photos purporting to show world leaders at the 2022 NATO summit next to artwork depicting skulls, dead babies and gas masks were clearly edited, we rated this claim as “False.”


“2022 NATO Summit in Madrid.” European Pressphoto Agency BV, https://webgate.epa.eu/id/57778600. Accessed July 13, 2022.

Daddy, Dorian. “A night at the museum: NATO world leaders tour the galleries of Madrid’s Prado Museum during the organization’s annual summit.” Artnet News, 5 July 2022, https://news.artnet.com/art-world/ nato-goes-to-the-prado-2141488. Accessed July 13, 2022.

“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Visits the Prado Museum in…” Getty Images, https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/canadian-prime-minister-justin-trudeau-visits-the-prado- news- photo/1241611977. Accessed July 13, 2022.

“From incredible hugs to lonely walks: the most unprecedented part of the NATO dinner in the Prado.” Cadena SER, 30 June 2022, https://cadenaser.com/nacional/2022/06/30/de-abrazos- effusivos-a-paseos-en-soledad-la-parte-mas-inedita-de-la- cena -of-nato-in-meadow-chain-being/. Accessed July 13, 2022.

Emperor Karl V in Mühlberg – The Collection – National Museum of the Meadows. https://www.museodelprado.en/the-collection/art-work/emperor-charles-v-at-muhlberg/e7c91aaa-b849-478c-a857-0bb58a6b6729. Accessed on 13 July

“Family Photo of the Heads of State and Government…” Getty Images, https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/family-photo-of-the-heads-of-state-and-heads-of-government -news-photo/1405900988. Accessed July 13, 2022.

“French President Emmanuel Macron arrives for dinner with…” Getty Images, https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/french-president-emmanuel-macron-arrives-for-a-dinner-with- news-photo/1405979410. Accessed July 13, 2022.

“The curiosities of the Prado Museum NATO dinner, in pictures: José Andrés’ Madrid menu, two separate dinners and a surprising ‘performance’.” El País, 30 June 2022, https://elpais.com/gente/2022- 06-30/menu-madrileno-de-jose-andres-dos-cenas-separadas-y-una-performance-sorpresa-los-details-from-the-nato-dinner-in-the-prado-museum.html. Accessed July 13, 2022.

“Las Meninas – Collection.” Prado National Museum. https://www.museodelprado.es/coleccion/obra-de-arte/las-meninas/9fdc7800-9ade-48b0-ab8b-edee94ea877f. Accessed July 13, 2022.

“The Immaculate Conception – The Collection.” Museo Nacional del Prado. https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/the-immaculate-conception/abea9a48-3712-4068-a0dd-c669005430d5. Accessed July 13, 2022.

“The Three Graces – The Collection.” Museo Nacional del Prado. https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/the-three-graces/145eadd9-0b54-4b2d-affe-09af370b6932. Accessed July 13, 2022.

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