Sting to sing as Paris Bataclan venue reopens after 2015 attacks

November 4, 2016 5:09 AM EDT

Sting performs during the iHeartRadio Music Festival at The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. September 24, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Marcus


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PARIS (Reuters) - The Paris concert venue where Islamist militants killed 90 people in November 2015 has enrolled rock star Sting for a concert to mark its reopening a year after the tragedy.

Sting, who headed up hit pop music band The Police before a long solo career, announced the news, saying on his website that the show would seek to honor those killed and the historic venue that is reopening after a year of renovation.

"In doing so we hope to respect the memory as well as the life affirming spirit of those who fell. We shall not forget them," said the 65-year-old singer.

Proceeds from the Nov. 12 concert will go to two charities catering to victims of the attacks of Nov 13, 2015, with some of those who were hurt in the attack being invited back to see the Sting reopener.

The head of the firm that owns the Bataclan, a landmark for rock fans and partygoers of all ages, said the venue had been totally renovated, but kept largely as it was before.

"This is not a ceremony, it's a concert," Jerome Langlet, head of Lagardere Unlimited Live Entertainment, said.

"It's the one and the same Bataclan. We chose to change it all without changing anything - to change it all so that nothing remains of the night of absolute horror, but to change nothing of the soul and history of the Bataclan," he told reporters.

Roofing, tiling and seating were replaced but with material much like before, with better entrance hall lighting, he said.

In all, 130 people died a year ago when several groups of gunmen and suicide bombers attacked the perimeter of the Stade de France sports stadium, a string of Paris cafes and the Bataclan.

Responsibility for the killings was claimed by the Islamic State group, which has called on its followers to attack France, which is bombing IS bases in Iraq and Syria.

(Reporting by Brian Love and Simon Carraud; Editing by John Irish and Ingrid Melander)



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