Sting to sing as Paris Bataclan venue reopens after 2015 attacks

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, the owners have said.

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

Proceeds from the November 12 concert will go to two charities catering to victims of the attacks of November 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.

“It’s the same Bataclan but we’ve changed everything. We decided to change everything so nothing changes. Change everything so nothing remains of what happened on that day,” Jerome Langlet, head of Lagardere Live Entertainment, said.

“The idea was to renovate it to give the venue back the soul that it had before, to make it a venue of the people like it was before, to make it rocking like it was. When you go into the venue you’ll see, you’ll find the concert hall like it was before, that beautiful concert hall,” he said.

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.

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