Winston Churchill's cigar airbrushed from picture
A photograph of Winston Churchill giving his victory salute has been airbrushed to remove his signature cigar.
Published: 11:21AM BST 15 Jun 2010
In the well-known original image, Churchill makes a "V" shaped symbol with his fingers – while gripping a cigar in the corner of his mouth.
But in a reproduction of the picture, hanging over the main entrance to a London museum celebrating the wartime leader, he has been made into a non-smoker through the use of image-altering techniques.
It is unclear who is responsible for doctoring the photograph, with the museum – The Winston Churchill's Britain at War Experience – claiming not to have noticed the cigar was missing.
John Welsh, manager of the museum, admitted he was shocked to learn of the alteration, but declined to reveal who was responsible for the display and for enlarging the image.
He said: "We've got all sorts of images in the museum, some with cigars and some without. We've even got wartime adverts for cigarettes in the lift down to the air-raid shelter, so we wouldn't have asked for there to be no cigar."
Don Robinson, who owned the museum before passing it to a charitable trust 20 years ago, added: "If we'd known we would have said: 'No, it stays as it is.' Everything we do we try to do accurately and the cigar symbolises Churchill."
The alteration of the original image, taken in 1948 during the opening of a new military headquarters, was noticed by David McAdam, a visitor to the museum.
He told the Daily Mail: "I pointed out this crude alteration to a museum steward who said she hadn't noticed the change before, nor had anyone else pointed it out.
"So much for the notion that only communist tyrants airbrushed history."
Alan Packwood, of the Churchill Archives Centre, said he was not aware of any previous case where Churchill's cigar had been digitally removed from a picture.