Sunday 25 February 2018

'We are one' - Major public square covered with chalk tributes to Brussels attacks victims

Credit: Twitter/@fdelooz
Credit: Twitter/@fdelooz

Tom Pugh

Scrawled in chalk on the pavement outside the Stock Exchange in Brussels, hundreds of messages show the defiance and unity of the world against Islamic State terrorists.

The colourful canvas at Place de la Bourse has been written in countless different colours and languages - French, German, English, Spanish, Arabic.

Such statements as "This is not Islam", "Love not war" and "From Spain with love" have been written across the pedestrianised area and walls outside the stock exchange building.

The area has become a focal point for Belgians to unite and show solidarity against the Islamic State terrorists who brought carnage to their city.

Speaking at the scene, admin worker Caroline Cohest, 28, said: "Look at what happened after the Paris attacks, people are continuing their lives there.

"It's not a good thing to stay home. The best thing that the people of Belgium can do is to carry on with their lives."

As dawn broke in a drizzly Brussels, tealight candles continued to burn at the site where the night before hundreds had congregated hours after the atrocities.

Some stood in sombre remembrance, others hugged and sang songs, including Imagine by John Lennon, and recited the Belgian national anthem.

Brussels student Laura Kartheuser, 20, said: "We've come here to support each other and see what was written on the pavement. It's really touching.

"I don't know who thought to bring chalk for people to write with, but it's lovely to see such kind words.

"And they've been written in all different languages, including English, Spanish and German. It's so beautiful."

Press Association

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