London museum airbrushes out Churchill’s cigar

While there have been a lot of angry comments here on Gadling about Egypt’s smoking ban and the even stricter smoking ban in Finland, neither country has tried to pretend people didn’t smoke in the past. Now someone at the Winston Churchill’s Britain at War Experience, a London museum, seems to have decided dead people could get lung cancer and airbrushed out a cigar from a photo of Winston Churchill.

A visitor to the museum noticed that a famous photo of Churchill hanging above the entrance had been doctored to remove a cigar from his mouth. The altered photo and the original can be seen here. The museum denies all responsibility and says it’s investigating, but being a museum they shouldn’t have to wait for a member of the public to correct their history, especially about the very person the museum is named after.

Churchill was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War Two and was famous for lighting up a stogy faster than you can say “Dresden bombing.” He also drank regularly, but his lungs and liver were apparently none the worse for wear since he died of a stroke at age ninety.

Photo courtesy Deutsches Bundesarchiv.