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Four years after Nov. 13 attacks, Paris to get memorial garden in honour of victims

 Flowers laid in front of a commemorative plaque on November 13, 2018, in Paris.
Flowers laid in front of a commemorative plaque on November 13, 2018, in Paris. France 24 Twitter account

The Paris City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to create a memorial garden in honour of the 130 victims who died in the terrorist attacks of November 13, 2015. The location of the garden has yet to be decided.

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The vote on a proposal by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo came on the eve of the commemorations of the fourth anniversary of the attacks.

'Gather, bear witness and keep the memory of the victims alive'

Hidalgo asked the council to propose several venues to two non-profit groups, 13onze15 [13 Eleven 15] and Life for Paris, after having obtained approval from the mayors of the suggested arrondissements.

The memorial garden, which will be accessible to victims and their families as well as the general public, will make it possible to "gather, bear witness and keep the memory of the victims alive,” according to a statement issued by the City of Paris. The garden is also to “play an educational role and be a place of life in honour of all the victims,” the statement said.

The difficult work of reconstruction

Four years after the tragedy, many victims say they have begun to heal. The upcoming trial of the alleged perpetrators of the attack, though, could once again traumatise families of the victims as well as those who were injured or witnessed the deadly events.

Everyone has a different path to recovery, experts stress, but "any person who has psychological stability without any traumatic antecedents, especially in childhood, will pull through or has already managed to pull through, roughly 70 percent of the victims,” asserts Gérard Lopez, a psychiatrist and founder of the Institute of Victimology, which has provided care for 180 people since the attacks.

On November 13, 2015, nine men attacked the French capital and the northern Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis at several locations, including near the Stade de France arena, on restaurant terraces and in the Bataclan concert hall, killing 130 people and injuring more than 350. The attacks were claimed by the Islamic State group.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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