The mayor of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Françoise Schepmans, and the General Secretary of the Council for the Moroccan Community Abroad, Abdellah Boussouf, inaugurated a new sculpture today (Tuesday) at 1.30 p.m. on the Place Communale in Molenbeek The sculpture was made by the Molenbeek artist, Moustapha Zoufri and is called the “Flamme de L’Espoir”, which translates as “Flame of Hope”.
It has been produced in memory of the victims of the Paris and Brussels attacks, which took place respectively on November 13th and March 22nd.
Zoufri was initially preparing a sculpture to celebrate 50 years of Moroccan immigration in Belgium.
He said, “As an inhabitant of Molenbeek and in view of the tragic events, I changed the direction of my project in memory of the victims of the attacks. This is because, firstly, I have worked with youngsters for 35 years, and it appeared entirely unnatural to endure what they had to suffer.”
He went on, “Secondly, I wanted to send out the message that all of the inhabitants of Molenbeek condemn what has happened. I did so through my artistic expression.”
Zoufri produced several public painting collections, displayed on the Place de la Bourse, during the commemorations which took place following the March 22nd attacks.
At that time passers-by coloured in his drawings using the colours of the Belgian tricolore. The general thread of his work originates both from Arabic script and abstract works.
The sculpture “Flame of Hope” was drawn from the same inspiration. Zoufri, is also the President-Founder of the Centre for Avicenna Youngsters.
This organisation aims to raise awareness in citizen participation amongst 12 to 26 year olds.