- Title: Tributes made after November attacks in Paris are collected by the city's archives
- Date: 11th November 2016
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (NOVEMBER 8, 2016) (REUTERS) LA BELLE EQUIPE BISTRO, AFTER IT WAS RENOVATED FOLLOWING THE ATTACKS NAMES OF VICTIMS ON WALL OF LA BELLE EQUIPE PARIS, FRANCE (NOVEMBER 11, 2016) (REUTERS) BATACLAN CONCERT HALL FLOWERS AT SECURITY RAILING IN FRONT OF BATACLAN
- Embargoed: 26th November 2016 17:12
- Keywords: archives Bataclan Place de la Republique restaurants Islamic State memorial La Belle Equipe tributes
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,International/National Security
- Reuters ID: LVA0055804QPZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: France, led by President Francois Hollande will commemorate on Sunday the one-year anniversary of the November 13 attacks, the deadliest since the Second World War.
The coordinated attacks which left 130 people dead and wounded more than 300 others, triggered an outpouring of sympathy that materialised in makeshift memorials around the city, many of which stayed in place for months.
The Archives of the City of Paris is preserving the vast quantities of tributes as a record of history, saving them in digital form that will be made accessible to the public.
After the attacks, mourners flocked to the Bataclan theatre and the Place de la Republique to leave messages of sympathy and support.
Flowers, candles and notes also flooded the pavements outside the restaurants in the 10th and 11th district, where several people were shot dead.
In December 2015, two weeks after the attacks, an archives team began collecting tributes outside La Belle Equipe, one of the bars targeted by gunmen.
For eight months, teams have been going to various memorial sites, working with garbage collectors and attempting to salvage objects that were not destroyed by rain or other elements. They also went around various schools to gather notes and drawings made by students.
"I think the scale of the phenomenon, the number of messages that were left, really shows that it was an important event, and here I'm not speaking about the attacks, I'm speaking about the surge of solidarity that followed. This is an important event for the city of Paris, and the best source, the best testimonies of this solidarity are these documents," one of the archivists, Mathilde Pintault said.
It was the first time the Archives of the City of Paris carried out such a form of data collection. They normally work on administrative documents that are more than a decade old, not on objects spontaneously left outdoors, in the immediate aftermath of an event.
"What is quite new is working in the street, gathering the archives in the street, we really did it this way, and also working with the cleaning teams of Paris, with garbage collectors. It was a collaboration that was for us totally unprecedented, original and very enriching from a human perspective," director of the Archives of the city of Paris, Guillaume Nahon, said.
Around 9,200 documents have been cleaned, sorted, photographed and stored in the Archives building in northeastern Paris.
It includes messages of support in multiple languages, drawings by children, books, origami, and even a hamburger wrapper with a note behind it.
"Paris, in the name of liberty, your blood was poured. In the name of love, I cry with you. Liberty, we believe in your name," one message read. Images of the Eiffel Tower, and the slogan "Pray for Paris" recurred in the notes.
Nahon said the project also aimed at restoring normality to the areas affected by the attacks by removing sad and painful memories.
The Archives have not announced when the online "souvenirs" will be accessible.
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