An image is making the rounds on WhatsApp with the claim that a painting by Elizabeth Anthony, wife of Former Defense Minister AK Anthony, was bought by AK Anthony during his tenure using the public exchequer.
The image was circulated with the intention to allege that the earlier UPA government had used government and taxpayer funds for their own monetary benefit. The text on the image targets Congress supporters, who call the current ruling government a 'thief'.
The Logical Indian Fact Check team received messages on our WhatsApp fact check number +91 6364000343 to fact check this claim.
The image has this text along with it, which reads,
"इस पेंटिंग की कीमत है मात्र 28 करोड़ रुपये। भूतपूर्व रक्षा मंत्री ए. के. एंटोनी ने अपने कार्यकाल में इसे खरीदा था वो भी सरकारी पैसे से। अब जरा यह भी जान लीजिए कि इस अद्भुत अदुतीय जादुई पेंटिंग को बनाने में अपना पूरा जीवन लगा देने वाले कलाकार कौन है और इन कलाकारा महोदय का नाम क्या है ?ये है एलिज़ाबेथ एंटोनी ।जी हाँ भूतपूर्व रक्षामंत्री की श्रीमती जी। यह निर्लज्ज रक्षामंत्री सेना के लिए हथियार की खरीदी के समय हाथ खड़े कर देता था। और वहीं अपने ही घर बनी हुई पेंटिंग को अपने आफिस में टांगने के लिए 28 करोड़ रुपये सरकार से झटक लेता है। *फिर भी मूर्ख लोग चोर मोदी को ठहरा रहे है।"
The translation is - "This painting costs just Rs 28 crore. Former Defense Minister AK Anthony bought it during his tenure with government money. Now let's know who the artist is, who dedicated their whole life to make this wonderful, unique, and magical painting, and what is the artist's name? It is Elizabeth Anthony. Yes, she is the wife of the former Defense Minister. This shameless defence minister would raise his hand to buy weapons for the army. And at the same time, he takes Rs 28 crore from the government to hang his homemade painting in his office. *And foolish people are still calling Modi a thief."
The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the viral WhatsApp image and found it to be false.
We reverse searched the image, which led us to an India Today article, 'Bankrupt Air India buys canvases painted by AK Anthony's wife', which was published on December 3, 2011. It stated that Elizabeth Anthony's paintings were exhibited at India Habitat Centre for cancer awareness to support her NGO Navoothan Charitable Foundation. Two paintings of hers were bought for Terminal 3 of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport by Air India.
We also found Elizabeth Anthony's official Facebook post from August 15, 2016, where she attached a copy of the reply she got from the Airports Authority of India (AAI). She also mentioned that one of her associates had filed for an RTI regarding the same, and the reply stated that the AAI bought two paintings for Rs 1.25 lakhs each.
She had similarly cleared the allegations on June 19, 2012.
I am posting this message after seeing some rumors circulating in the internet about an art exhibition held on December...Posted by Elizabeth Antony on Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Deccan Chronicle also reported the RTI response on August 19, 2016.
The viral image on WhatsApp claimed that AK Anthony used Rs 28 crore of government money to buy his wife's painting.
After verification, this has been found to be false. AAI had bought two of Elizabeth Anthony's paintings for Rs 1.25 lakh each.
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