The Sun falls victim to Robert Mugabe palace hoax

The Sun has removed an article from its website about a palace it claimed belonged to Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe – after it emerged that the photo used was of an American house used in the film Beethoven’s 4th.

The Press Complaints Commission received one complaint from a Sun reader about the piece, published last December, which featured photographs of a “palace with 30 bedrooms, where no expense was spared”.

The Sun said its claim that the house belonged to Mugabe had been checked with a Zimbabwean correspondent.

But Matthew Shaw from Reading provided screengrabs from the 2001 movie Beethoven’s 4th and said there was a “remarkable resemblance” between the palace shown in the Sun piece and the house used on the film, which was set in the US.

“The newspaper thanked the complainant for drawing the issues to its attention and, given the nature of the evidence he had provided, it removed the article from its website,” the PCC said today. It added that it considered the matter to be resolved.

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