A two-ton metal sculpture to honor the victims of the Brussels attacks started rising on Wednesday (March 15) near the EU headquarters, as the city prepares to mark the anniversary of the suicide bombings that killed 32 and wounded hundreds.
On March 22, 2016, three ISIS suicide bombers, all Belgian nationals, blew themselves up at the Brussels airport and in a metro train in the Belgian capital. The attacks took place four months after ISIS terrorists killed 130 people in Paris and sent shockwaves around Europe and across the world.
Several artists submitted ideas for the memorial, and the winner was 56-year-old Belgian comedian and artist Jean-Henri Compère.
At 20 metres (66 feet) high and 2 metres (7 feet) long, the sculpture has two opposing metal surfaces, modeled in the shape of rising waves. The space between the satin stainless steel twin structures represents flowing room for dialogue, Compère said.
“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,” he said.
He added the sculpture could also symbolize two plane wings or a subway train, and that it was a gift to the people of Brussels.
The memorial will be unveiled on March 22, the anniversary of the deadly blasts.
U.S. citizen Evan Lamps said he would be taking a day off work to commemorate the attack.
“You have to get out of the house and not be afraid,” Romanian Brussels resident Monica Lele said.
The March 22 attacks on a city that is home to the European Union and NATO sent authorities racing to review security at airports and on public transport. It also rekindled debate about lagging European security cooperation and flaws in police surveillance.