US National Archives apologises for blurring women's march protest photos critical of Trump

In a photo taken on Jan 21, 2017, protesters walk during the Women's March on Washington. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - The US National Archives has said it made a mistake by blurring images depicting protest signs critical of President Donald Trump in a promotional display for a new exhibit on women's suffrage.

"As the National Archives of the United States, we are and have always been completely committed to preserving our archival holdings, without alteration," the independent agency in charge of the preservation of government and historical records such as the Bill of Rights said on Twitter on Saturday (Jan 18).

The archives said it altered parts of an image from the 2017 Women's March in Washington to remove Trump's name on signs. At least one placard reading "God Hates Trump" was changed to merely say "God Hates," according to the Washington Post, which reported the edits earlier on Saturday.

Some references to women's anatomy were also removed. The photo was part of a promotional display for a new exhibit about the 100-year anniversary of women's suffrage.

The archives said it removed the altered photo and will replace it will an unedited version.

"We apologise, and will immediately start a thorough review of our exhibit policies and procedures so that this does not happen again," the National Archives tweeted.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said the apology wasn't enough.

"The National Archives must explain to the public why it even took the Orwellian step of trying to rewrite history and erasing women's bodies from it, as well as who ordered it," Louise Melling, ACLU deputy legal director, said in an emailed statement.

An estimated 500,000 people participated in the 2017 Women's March in Washington on the day after Trump's inauguration, and many more marched in other US cities and around the world. The event was widely regarded as a protest against the new president.

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