Zelenskyy or Protest Against Drug Trade – What Does the Sculpture in Milan Portray?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Reading Time: 3 minutes


On January 9th, 2023, a Georgian-language Facebook account published a photo taken in Milan, Italy, showing a sculpture of a nose with white powder scattered around it. According to the author of the post, the Italians called the sculpture “Zelenskyy’s nose”.

The mentioned photo was published by the Kremlin’s propaganda outlet Eurasia Daily and several Russian-language websites (1, 2, 3). Their headlines mention that a ” monument of Zelenskyy” was erected in Milan. Several outlets (1, 2, 3) note in the title that the sculpture reminded the residents of Milan of Zelenskyy.

Screenshot 10 Zelenskyy or Protest Against Drug Trade - What Does the Sculpture in Milan Portray?

Screenshot 11 Zelenskyy or Protest Against Drug Trade - What Does the Sculpture in Milan Portray?

The claim that the nose-shaped sculpture of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was erected in Milan is false. In fact, the Italian activist aimed to use the sculpture to protest the increased rate of drug trafficking in Milan, especially cocaine.

The nose and cocaine sculpture is located in the Corso Como shopping complex in Milan and was created by Italian activist and artist Cristina Donati Meyer. Meyer posted photos of the sculpture on her Facebook and Instagram pages on December 23rd, 2022.

Screenshot 12 Zelenskyy or Protest Against Drug Trade - What Does the Sculpture in Milan Portray?

According to the activist, with this work, she denounced the drug trade and mafia business that is prevalent in Milan. The post also mentions that the cocaine trade has increased by 62% in the last year, and despite frequent drug seizures by the police, the black market is still not affected.

Italian media outlets also covered the placement of the sculpture. As Milano Today notes, street artist and activist Cristina Donati Meyer has placed a sculpture titled “Bianco Natale, Milano-Medellin” [White Christmas, Milan-Medellin] in one of Milan’s most famous nightlife districts.

Russian-language outlets published the photo with a manipulative headline. Their title mentions that a “monument of Zelenskyy” was placed in Milan, while the text of the material explains that the sculpture is actually a protest related to the drug trade. Despite this, Russian publications note that the Italians were reminded of the Ukrainian president by the sculpture, as he is associated with drug use, although their articles do not provide any evidence to support the voiced claim.

Disinformation, as if Volodimyr Zelenskyy is a drug addict, has been circulating for a while now. Fabricated videos allegedly proving the said fact have been fact-checked by “Myth Detector” in the past as well. For more, see our articles:

The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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Topic: Politics
Country: Ukraine

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