Central Hall lit up in the colours of the Tricolore this evening to honour the lives lost in the terror attacks in Paris this weekend. It follows Wembley Stadium, Canada’s CN Tower, Rio’s Christ the Redeemer, the Sydney Opera House, the White House and many others in the gesture.
Global landmarks have lit up in red, white and blue following the devastation in Paris, with the tagline ‘When Paris turned out its lights, the rest of the world turned them on’ circulating with the images on social media.
Facebook’s decision to translate this gesture in the form of offering a temporary profile picture of the Tricolore has been met with some criticism, with some claiming that lives lost in recent attacks in the Middle East and North Africa are implicitly of less importance in the social media giant’s eyes. Nevertheless, the feature has proved popular with those wanting to express their sympathy and support.
Central Hall will stay illuminated for the rest of the week. Of the decision to bring the Tricolore onto campus, YUSU President Ben Leatham said, “as a student body, as a University, as a society, we stand together, united, with those in Paris. Lighting up Central Hall in the colours of the French flag displays this fact loud and clear. We support tolerance, we support freedom, we support diversity and we will continue to fight prejudice at every opportunity.”
An event is being organised by YUSU for those who wish to share their condolences and sympathies with others.
David Duncan, University Registrar & Secretary, commented: “As a University, we were profoundly shocked by the terrible events in Paris on Friday. It is right that the University community should find ways to express its solidarity with those affected at this time. Illuminating buildings and participating in a one minute’s silence are two such ways. We have also made contact with staff and students who are currently in France to make sure that they are safe.”