Paris honours Bataclan victims with memorial garden celebrating life


The city of Paris is offering a lesson on how to reconcile with a tragedy and turn to the future with its latest public project. The city has announced the memorial garden of Place Saint-Gervais project to commemorate the victims of the 2015 Bataclan terror attacks. The memorial garden will be opened in 2025 as a testament to resilience and tribute to life.

The city headed by Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo invited applications from teams of landscapers, architects and engineers to design the planned garden. Wagon Landscaping will lead the project as selected by the Paris Tender Commission in consultations with associations of victims. The associations proposed the memorial garden, which the commission accepted unanimously. Associations noted that a garden is a living space and pointed out that the proposed project will bring life to the memory of victims and survivors of the 2015 attacks.

They chose Place Saint-Gervais as the location of the project for its centrality and neutrality, noting that it will be challenging to integrate the memorial garden harmoniously. Place Saint-Gervais is located in the centre of Paris near the Seine and surrounded by high heritage value. While Place Saint-Gervais was not affected by attacks, the garden will be designed to represent attack locations and list the names of deceased victims. It will be in visual contrast with the rest of the Paris centre and present a synthesis of six terror attack locations.

The City of Paris pointed out in a statement that the memorial garden will be open to the public as a place to “gather, bear witness and keep the memory of the victims alive,” as well as “play an educational role and be a place of life in honour of all the victims.” As planned, the project aims to turn a somber memory into a living space, which honours the memory of those lost while at the same time celebrating the living values of the city.

(Photo credit: Wagon Landscaping / Ville de Paris)