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Archivists Are Preserving Moving Written Tributes to the Paris Attacks

Making sure history remembers the victims of the devastating attacks.

Image via Flickr user Takver

The staff of the Archives of Paris is working to preserve the heartfelt notes and drawings created to honor the victims of the city’s November 13 terror attacks.


"We're trying to combine two objectives: to maintain these memorials during the time of grief and, at the same time, to save the tribute notes," Archives director Guillaume Nahon said Tuesday.

Makeshift memorials have sprung up all over the City of Light in the wake of the terror attacks. U.S. President Barack Obama visited the largest memorial, at the Bataclan concert hall, where 89 people died, in late November.

The Archives’ collection effort began one week after the attack, as staffers began gathering papers damaged by rain. The Associated Press reports that the works will be guarded against mold and will eventually be digitized and put on a public website. Archivists have also been taking photographs of the memorials to preserve their day-to-day appearance.

Image via Flickr user Takver

Archivist Mathilde Pintault noted the diversity of the notes that the team had already collected. The tributes, she told the AP’s Sylvie Corbet, are from anonymous writers, the families of victims, children, older people, and visitors to Paris.

“In the name of what?” read one note placed next to the bullet-pocked restaurant where 19 died on November 13.

"We'll keep living, laughing, singing together, refusing the barbary that kills innocent peoples,” read another note, already collected by archivists.

Image via Flickr user Takver

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