The Arkansas town of Fort Smith held a fancy ceremony on Tuesday, in which an alleged United Nations arts ambassador designated the town as an “international city for artistic and cultural innovation in peace building and economic growth.” But the U.N. now says the whole thing was a scam job. Ibiyinka Alao, a local Nigerian American artist, claimed to be a U.N. arts ambassador but a U.N. spokesperson said there is no record of any person with such a title and the designation doesn’t exist. “This has all the hallmarks of a scam,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
Appearing with Fort Smith Mayor George McGill, Alao said the city was the 10th city in the world to receive such a distinction. But he told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette it was more of a “declaration” than a “designation” and that that he doesn't know who Dujarric is.