This photo shows people participating in an art project in Germany

Copyright AFP 2017-2022. All rights reserved.

A photo has been shared hundreds of times in multiple posts on Facebook and Twitter alongside a claim it shows the bodies of people who died in Italy after they became infected with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The claim is false; the photo actually shows people participating in a 2014 art project in the German city of Frankfurt.

The photo was published here on Facebook on March 23, 2020. 

Below is a screenshot of the misleading Facebook post:

Screenshot of misleading Facebook post

The post's Hindi-language caption translates to English as: “People think that corona is a joke, see there is no one to pick up bodies in Italy. Please stay home.”

As of March 31, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has killed at least 36,571 people and infected 754,948 others worldwide, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The photo was also shared here, here, here and here on Facebook and here, here, here and here on Twitter, alongside a similar claim.

Telugu-language posts published on Facebook and Twitter here, here and here also contained a similar claim.

The claim is false.

A combined Google reverse image and keyword search found this original photo published by Reuters on March 24, 2014.

Below is a screenshot of the Reuters photo:

Snapshot of Reuters image

The photo caption states: “People lay down in a pedestrian zone as part of an art project in remembrance of the 528 victims of the Katzbach Nazi concentration camp, in Frankfurt, March 24, 2014. The inmates of the Katzbach concentration camp, a part of the former Adler industrial factory, were forced into a death march to the concentration camps of Buchenwald and Dachau on March 24, 1945. Some 528 victims of Katzbach are buried at Frankfurt's central cemetery.” 

Below is a screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading posts (L) and the Reuters photo (R):

Image comparing screenshot

The location corresponds with this pedestrian zone in Frankfurt on Google Street View.

The misleading posts were also debunked by AFP's fact check team in Indonesia and Tunisia here and here after the photo was circulated alongside a claim it shows the bodies of COVID-19 victims in China.