This Instagram photo is not a 3D rendering of Joseph from the Bible

Did Stanford University scientists recently release a 3D rendering of what Joseph of Nazareth might have looked like when he was alive around the first century?

So claim a viral tweet and an Instagram post. If you were to believe it, you’d think the man who married Jesus’ mother, Mary, looked a lot like professional wrestler and actor Andre the Giant.

“Stanford University scientists have reconstructed (a) 3D model of what Joseph, husband of Mary, mother of Jesus Christ might have looked like,” read the text covering the photo of what appears to be. a sculpture of a man with curly hair and a serious expression on his face.

The October 29 post was flagged as part of Instagram’s efforts to combat fake news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Learn more about our partnership with Meta, owner of Facebook and Instagram.)

But the image is not a 3D rendering of a biblical figure. It is indeed André René Roussimof, also known professionally as André le Géant, who died on January 27, 1993 in Paris at the age of 46. 7 feet 2 inches, according to his French passport.

Snopes first traced the photo to Sketchfab, which bills itself as the “largest platform for publishing and finding 3D models online.” Metadata shows that this render was first posted to the platform in August 2019 by someone with the username “mattewdc”.

We contacted Stanford media contacts and received no response. But we found no evidence to suggest that this image was associated with a university project.

We rate this claim as false.

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