Winston Churchill seems to have kicked his habit after London museum removes cigar from famed photo
Now, it seems, the do-gooders are meddling with history.
A big, fat cigar was almost a permanent fixture in photos of Britain's wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill.
But now visitors entering The Winston Churchill's Britain at War Experience museum are being greeted with a tobacco-free Photoshopped image of him.
The image in question is a well-known 1948 picture showing Britain's prime minister making a "V" with his fingers while chomping on a cigar. In the version hanging above the museum's main entrance, his trademark stogy is nowhere to be seen.
The altered photo, which was first reported by the Telegraph.co.uk, managed to slip by museum managers, saying they did not notice the cigar was missing.
"We've got all sorts of images in the museum, some with cigars and some without," John Welsh, the manager of the museum, told the Telegraph. "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."
Despite being shocked to learn of the fudged photo, Welsh declined to give up the person responsible for helping Churchill kick the habit – at least in photos.
Airbrushing cigarettes and cigars out of pictures is nothing new. In January 2003, poster companies in the U.S. removed a cigarette from the hand of Paul McCartney on the cover of the Beatles' Abbey Road album. The change was made without the permission of either McCartney or Apple Records, who owns the rights to the photo.
And since then, anti-smoking campaigners have targeted movie studios that feature scenes with stars puffing away.
The advocacy wing of the American Medical Association launched a summer-long campaign in 2009 to publicly shame the studio that had actors and actresses smoking on the silver screen.
But even though society now casts smoking in a negative light, not everyone is happy with the altered image of Churchill.
"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," museum visitor David McAdam told the Daily Mail. "Viewing the now disfigured image reveals just how unhinged the vociferous anti-smoking lobby has become. So much for the notion that only communist tyrants airbrushed history."
Allen Packwood, the director of the Churchill Archives Centre, says the airbrushing distorts the image of the former prime minister.
"The cigar is part of what makes Churchill an iconic figure and of course it was very much part of his image as war leader," Packwood told the Daily Mail. "It went hand in hand with his victory salute and the uniforms he wore.
"What's politically correct for 2010 was not politically correct for 1940."
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/06/16/2010-06-16_winston_churchill_seems_to_have_kicked_his_habit_after_london_museum_removes_cig.html#ixzz0rABUrLZF