Were world leaders photographed with ‘satanic’ artwork at the 2022 NATO summit?

The photographs accurately depicted world leaders at the 2022 NATO summit touring an exhibit with “satanic” artwork featuring gas masks and dead babies.

Fact check

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

While it is 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 summit, these images were not authentic depictions of that visit. Rather, they were digital editing work.

The creators of the manipulated photos used the bloody images to replace actual artwork in Madrid’s Prado Museum.

Many of the actual photographs 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 work by Rubens called “The Three Graces”, for example.

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

The group photo displayed below, which has also been digitally altered, shows world leaders flanking a painting titled “Las Meninas”.

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)

The photograph of Johnson alone looking at artwork, however, was originally taken by Juanjo Martin for EFE. This photograph can be found on the European Photo Press Agency website here. It was also published here and here. He saw there the oil painting “Emperor Charles V at Mühlber” by Titian.

Since photographs purporting to show world leaders at the 2022 NATO summit next to artwork depicting skulls, dead babies and gas masks have been clearly edited, we have called this claim ” fake”.


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

Batycka, Dorian. “Night at the Museum: NATO world leaders roamed the galleries of the Prado Museum in Madrid during the Organization’s annual summit.” Artnet News, July 5, 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-photos/1241611977. Accessed July 13, 2022.

“From abrazos efusivos a paseos en soledad: the most unpublished part of the NATO cena in el Prado.” Cadena SER, June 30, 2022, https://cadenaser.com/nacional/2022/06/30/de-abrazos-efusivos-a-paseos-en-soledad-la-parte-mas-inedita-de-la-cena -de-la-nato-en-el-prado-cadena-ser/. Accessed July 13, 2022.

Emperor Charles V in Mühlberg – The Collection – Museo Nacional Del Prado. https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/emperor-charles-v-at-muhlberg/e7c91aaa-b849-478c-a857-0bb58a6b6729. Accessed July 13, 2022.

“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 a 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 cena of NATO in the Museo del Prado, in photos: menú madrileño de José Andrés, dos cenas separadas y una ‘performance’ sorpresa.” El País, June 30, 2022, https://elpais.com/gente/2022-06-30/menu-madrileno-de-jose-andres-dos-cenas-separadas-y-una-performance-sorpresa-los-detalles -de-la-cena-de-la-otan-en-el-museo-del-prado.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.” Prado National Museum. 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.” Prado National Museum. https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/the-three-graces/145eadd9-0b54-4b2d-affe-09af370b6932. Accessed July 13, 2022.