PARIS – A concert by British pop legend Sting is marking the reopening of the Paris’ Bataclan concert hall one year after suicidal jihadis turned it into a bloodbath and killed 90 revelers with automatic weapons and explosive belts.
The co-ordinated attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 last year left 130 people dead and hundreds more injured and were the worst extremist attacks ever to hit France.
The Bataclan said all 1,000 Sting concert tickets sold out in “less than 30 minutes” and survivors and their families have also been invited to the Saturday night concert.
Sting, 65, is no stranger to the Paris venue. He played there decades ago in 1979 as lead singer of The Police. The singer’s new album “57th & 9th” was released Friday.
Sting said the concert proceeds would go to two charities helping survivors. More than 1,700 people have been officially recognized as victims of the horror that unfolded at the Bataclan, Paris cafes and France’s national stadium.
The concert hall – which has been refurbished to its original state – will remain closed on Sunday’s actual anniversary of the attacks, when authorities plan to unveil a plaque outside to commemorate the victims.
In addition to those who died, nine people remain hospitalized from the attacks and others are paralyzed or otherwise irreparably injured. The government says more than 600 people are still receiving psychological treatment related to the attacks.