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'Peace for Paris' symbol goes viral in solidarity with terror victims

Last updated on: November 15, 2015 12:26 IST

A "Peace for Paris" symbol, combining the city's beloved Eiffel Tower with the peace sign of the Sixties, has gone viral following the Paris terror attacks.

Participants observe a minute of silence with French Consul General Eric Berti, holding a peace sign featuring Eiffel Tower, during a vigil honouring the victims of the Paris attacks, in Hong Kong, China. Photograph: Bobby Yip/ Reuters

The designer is a 32-year-old French graphic artist, Jean Jullien, who lives in London.

Listening to the radio, he became horrified by the violence unfolding in his nation's capital and reached for his sketchpad.

Candles line the sidewalk at a vigil outside the French Consulate in response to the attacks in Paris, in Los Angeles, California, United States. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/ Reuters

"My first reaction was to draw something and share it," he said. "It was spontaneous. I wanted to do something that could be useful for people."

Extinguished candles lie atop an image calling for peace in Paris following a vigil to mourn the victims of attacks in both Paris and Lebanon in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan. Photograph: Serena Maria Daniels/ Reuters

"Given the scale of the violence, the peace-and-love symbol was essential. It was then quite an easy thing to combine it with the EiffelTower, the symbol of Paris," he added. "The two symbols fit together."

The peace-and-love motif was adopted by Britain's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the 1950s, before being used by anti-war and "counter-culture" militants in the 1960s.

A woman holds up a peace sign during a vigil, in memory of the victims of the Paris attacks, outside the French embassy in Montreal, Canada. Photograph: Christinne Muschi/ Reuters

Jullien posted the combined symbol on his website and then tweeted it. Within hours, it was shared more 45,000 times and retweeted 76,000 times, including by the British underground artist Banksy.

At least 128 people were killed and several hundred were killed in coordinated gun-and-explosives attacks on a Paris concert hall, restaurants and the Stade de France stadium.

A man holds a child's hockey stick with a Peace sign attached during a vigil in memory of the victims of the Paris attacks, outside city hall in Toronto. Photograph: Chris Helgren/ Reuters

A similiar Internet phenomenon occurred after the January 7 attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed by jihadist gunmen.

Zoe Dubes, 7, attends a vigil outside the French Consulate in Los Angeles, California, United States, in response to the attacks in Paris. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/ Reuters

Joachim Roncin, artist director and music journalist at the lifestyle magazine Stylist, devised a slogan of solidarity, "Je Suis Charlie" (I am Charlie), in white capital letters on a black background.

A man, with a peace symbol featuring Eiffel Tower, holds a candle as he pays tribute to the victims of Paris attacks at The Alliance Francaise in Bangkok, Thailand. Photograph: Athit Perawongmetha/ Reuters

He placed the image on social media, and within hours it was picked up around France and beyond, becoming the totem of nationwide rallies totalling an estimated four million.