Viral video of burning building is from the Philippines, not France

Amid violent protests in France, a viral video claims to show a library in Marseille on fire. It’s actually a video showing a post office ablaze in the Philippines.
Credit: Screenshot/Twitter

On June 27, a 17-year-old French citizen of Algerian descent was killed by police during a traffic stop in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre, France.  

The killing stirred existing tension about race discrimination in policing and prompted violent protests and unrest across France. According to local and international reports, more than 2,000 people have been arrested and cars and prominent French landmarks have been set on fire.

Videos of the protests have been shared widely on social media. One of those videos is aerial footage of a building ablaze, with claims it shows the Alcazar Library in Marseille on fire.

“The Alcazar Library in Marseille is the largest library in France, containing an archive of one million historically significant documents. African migrants just TORCHED it,” one tweet with the video said. 

That tweet had more than two million views.


Does this viral video show the Alcazar Library in Marseille on fire amid rioting in France?



This is false.

No, this viral video doesn’t show the library in Marseille. It actually shows a large fire at a post office in Manila, Philippines in May 2023.


The building seen in the viral video isn’t located in France and isn’t a library. It’s actually a post office in Manila, Philippines.

VERIFY isolated a keyframe of the viral video and conducted a reverse image search with RevEye, a reverse image search engine. We matched the video to other footage taken in Manila, Philippines in May 2023. 

Credit: Google Images via RevEye
VERIFY isolated a keyframe of the viral video and conducted a reverse image search with RevEye, a reverse image search engine.

On May 21, a massive fire tore through Manila’s historic post office building, the Associated Press reported. According to the Philippine Star, the fire was started after a car battery, stored with office and paint supplies, exploded in the building.

In the viral video, the post office and the Overseas Filipino Bank can be seen from an aerial view. VERIFY confirmed the location using Google Maps.

The exterior of the building and the rooftops seen in the viral video match what could be seen on Google Maps in Manila’s metropolitan area near the Pasig River.

Using Google Maps, we could also confirm the exterior of the Alcazar Library doesn’t match the building seen in the video. There are no columns and the library is located in a downtown location, right next to other businesses or offices in the Belsunce district.

VERIFY could not find the exact source of the original video, but did find other video from news outlets posted to Twitter showing the same buildings seen in the viral video on fire.

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn More »

Follow Us

Want something VERIFIED?

Text: 202-410-8808

Related Stories