It seems that censorship is alive and well, and in the unlikeliest of places, London's Britain at War Museum.
An unknown censor airbrushed a cigar from an iconic photo of Churchill that adorns the entrance to London’s Britain at War Museum.
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.
This is not the first time that a famous smoker to have his nicotine fix retrospectively nixed. Here’s a pack of puffers whose acts of inhaling have
also been consigned to the ashtray of history
Peer closely at the original artwork of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” LP and you might just notice that a barefoot Macca is clutching a cigarette in
his right hand. That tiny smoke was too much for U.S. print giant Allposters, who in 2003 demanded that the butt be digitally removed. Beatles
publisher Apple Records later protested, telling the BBC, “We have never agreed to anything like this.”
In 2008, the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp in honor of the sultry starlet, based on a still from 1950′s “All About Eve.” But the
hand-painted portrait left out an important detail featured in the original image: a tobacco stick the actress had been elegantly holding in her
And if there was anything Davis was known for in Hollywood — OK, apart from that — it was her incessant smoking. “I’ve been close to Bette
Davis for 38 years,” quipped Henry Fonda at a 1979 roast of the actress, “and I have the cigarette burns to prove it.”
Once asked by a Newsweek journalist to list the important things in his life, the grumpy French philosopher replied, “I don’t know. Everything.
Living. Smoking.” But a 2005 celebration of the existentialist’s life at Paris’ National Library couldn’t show the philosopher indulging in
his favorite activity, in case it broke tough tobacco advertising laws.
As there are few photos of Sartre not smoking — he polished off two packs of cigarettes and two tobacco-stuffed pipes a day — the library was
forced to edit out the philosopher’s Gauloise in a 1946 shot.
A portrait of the famed illustrator clutching a cigarette appeared in the back of the classic children’s book “Goodnight Moon” for some 20
years. But in 1995, Kate Jackson — then editor-in-chief of publisher HarperCollins — spotted the cancer causer and had it smudged out. “It is
potentially a harmful message to very young kids,” Jackson told The New York Times, “and it doesn’t need to be there.”
That act of censorship outraged some long-standing “Goodnight” fans, who demanded the photo be restored to its smoky glory. Hurd’s son, though,
said the illustrator — who died in 1988 — wouldn’t have been too bothered, as he’d kicked the habit in the 1950s and “really disliked
smoking later in life.”
This is not 'new' news however, it does serve to remind people that history is being re-written everyday.