Brussels installs memorial to mark attack anniversary

The memorial is still hidden from public view [Ana Milosevic, Twitter]

A Belgian artist is installing a metal sculpture shaped like rising waves near the very heart of the European Union to honour the victims of the militant attacks on Brussels a year ago that killed 32 people and wounded hundreds.

On 22 March 2016, three Islamic State suicide bombers targeted Brussels airport and the Maalbeek metro station in the capital, the deadliest such attack in Belgian history. It followed coordinated attacks on Paris four months earlier that killed 130 people and sent shockwaves across Europe and beyond.

The sculpture by Jean-Henri Compere is called “Wounded But Still Standing in Front of the Inconceivable” and is constructed from two 20-metre-long horizontal surfaces rising skywards.

“Well, it means we’ve been wounded down to the ground, but we have to stand up and say ‘no’ to those acts that are not believable, that are not bearable,” Compere told Reuters at the memorial site.

Compere said the sculpture could also symbolise two plane wings, or a subway train.

“It’s a piece that should stay in the city,” he said. “I want that the sculpture lives with the city, that it takes on its sheen, that it gets through the years, because time helps us build ourselves back up.”

The memorial will be unveiled on 22 March, exactly one year after the attacks.

“I like the fact that it’s supposed to visualise the strength of the city and the resilience of the city,” said EURACTIV Multimedia Director Evan Lamos, 31, who was in the vicinity of the metro attack.

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