France marks five years since deadly Bataclan attack
France today is leading silent ceremonies to mark five years since the series of coordinated deadly attacks on the Bataclan concert hall, Paris cafes and the Stade de France.
Prime minister Jean Castex led the commemorations, unveiling commemorative plaques at each location that pay tribute to the 130 victims killed by Islamic State extremists on 13 Nov 2015.
Members of the public were not invited to attend commemorations this year due to the country’s partial lockdown.
Ninety of the deceased victims were killed at the Bataclan concert hall when three heavily armed gunmen opened fire during the Eagles of Death Metal concert which was attended by 1,500 people. The other 40 victims were killed during the four-hour attack on the capital.
❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ pic.twitter.com/fL5zgzRkpW
— EaglesOfDeathMetal (@EODMofficial) November 13, 2020
Among victims of the Bataclan concert hall attack was Nick Alexander, the 35-year-old, British merchandise manager for Eagles of Death Metal, who had dedicated 15 years to the music industry.
His sister, Zoe Alexander, told the BBC: “He was such a people person which is why he was so good at his job, interacting with the fans on a daily basis. One of the things I admired most about Nick was that he was unashamedly himself and trod his own path throughout his whole life.”
On the first anniversary of the attack, the Alexander family created The Nick Alexander Memorial Trust, which provides music equipment to disadvantaged communities across the UK.
In aid of the memorial trust and charity Life for Paris, Queens of the Stone Age – which shares member Josh Homme with Eagles of Death Metal – are tonight broadcasting previously unseen footage from the Mona Museum in Tasmania.
QOTSA will broadcast previously unseen live footage from @monamuseum, Tasmania, in aid of @NickAlexanderMT & @lifeforparis charities. It will be available for a limited time beginning 9am (LA), 5pm (London) & 6pm (Paris) on Friday Nov. 13th.
— QOTSA (@qotsa) November 9, 2020
Elsewhere, Serge Maestracci, a survivor of the Bataclan concert hall attack told DW: “Music has helped me get through the worst time of my life. I was terrified after the attack. I was afraid to leave the house, to cycle through the city. I felt I had become a target.
“Music was my way to express my feelings and what I’d experienced. When you go through an event like this, you think, I escaped death by a few minutes. Life grinds to a halt. But then, it continues and you think — I need to live life to the fullest!”
Survivor Christophe Naudin, who hid in a closet for hours with two dozen people during the attack, recently published a book called Diary of a Bataclan Survivor describing his post-traumatic stress.
“Writing up my thoughts instead of just brooding over what had happened has really helped me. And it was good to go through it again to get it into shape for the book. All this is part of my reconstruction,” he told DW.
Read IQ‘s interview with AEG Presents head Arnaud Meersseman, who was among those wounded at Bataclan.
France is again under high alert for terrorist attacks after three Islamic extremist attacks since September have killed four people.
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New chief exec for Stade de France
Alexandra Boutelier has been appointed CEO of Stade de France, France’s 80,698-seat national stadium in Paris.
Boutelier succeeds Pierre Coppey, who steps down following a decision by the board of directors of Consortium Stade de France, the venue’s owner/operator, to separate the company’s chairmanship and executive management. Coppey continues as chairman and Henry de la Monneraye as vice-chairman.
Boutelier joined Vinci, the majority shareholder of Consortium Stade de France, in 2007, and formerly served as the consortium’s deputy CEO. She was most recently head of Vinci Stadium, and also chairs the operating companies of MMArena (25,064-cap.) in Le Mans and Allianz Riviera (35,624-cap.) in Nice.
Upcoming concerts at Stade de France include Metallica, whose record-breaking WorldWired tour visits Paris on 12 May, and BTS, who bring their Love Yourself: Speak Yourself trek to the stadium on 7 and 8 June.