Bataclan announces first concerts since Paris attacks in November
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
AFP photoThe team running the Paris concert hall where 90 people were killed in last year's jihadist attacks announced on April 13 a series of concerts would be held at the Bataclan in November.
British singer Pete Doherty and the Senegalese star Youssou N'Dour and his Super Etoile de Dakar band will play the Bataclan on November 16 and 18 respectively, the managers said in a statement.
They said work had begun on repairing the interior of the building, but "no exact reopening date has as yet been fixed".
The choice of N'Dour, a Muslim, who has often spoken out in support of dialogue between the world's major religions, is likely to be seen highly significant.
He is devotee of Islam's Sufi tradition and a member of its Mouride order, which like many Sufi groups believe music and dance is also a form of prayer.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, which claimed responsibility for the Paris massacre, has imposed bans on both music and dancing in areas of Syria and Iraq under their control.
Tellingly, the concerts unveiled on April 18 are in the days following the first anniversary of the attacks on November 13, when jihadist gunmen burst into the venue and opened fire on concertgoers.
A total of 130 people were killed across the French capital that night in a series of shootings and suicide bomb attacks.
The Bataclan's statement left the door open for a concert or commemoration on the exact anniversary of the attack, with the organisers saying that "other concerts and events will be announced in the following days."
The US rock group Nada Surf and the French rap group MZ have also been booked to play the concert hall in the east of Paris in December, the statement added.
"We want to preserve the (Bataclan's) warmth and friendliness and maintain its popular, festive spirit," the management team said.
The Californian group Eagles of Death Metal, who were on stage at the Bataclan when the shooting began, have repeatedly said they they want to return to play the venue, with lead singer Jesse Hughes telling AFP, "I would love for us to open it."
The Bataclan's owners, the Lagardere group, said in February that "it would do the maximum to reopen the concert hall by the end of 2016".