Lahore attack: Photo 'showing Eiffel Tower lit up in colours of Pakistan flag' is from 2007 Rugby World Cup

The green and white colour scheme pictured was intended to represent a rugby pitch nine years ago

Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday 30 March 2016 10:02 BST
The Eiffel Tower was illuminated in green and white for the 2007 Rugby World Cup
The Eiffel Tower was illuminated in green and white for the 2007 Rugby World Cup

A viral photo appearing to show the Eiffel Tower lit up in the colours of Pakistan’s national flag to commemorate the Lahore attacks has emerged to be from the Rugby World Cup.

Images of the monument illuminated in green and white were shared by thousands of people on Twitter and Facebook in the wake of Sunday’s suicide bombing.

Many praised the “solidarity” apparently shown by the French to the Pakistani city, where more than 72 people were killed in a park during Easter celebrations.

The atrocity came days after the Brussels attacks, which saw monuments around the world light up in the colours of the Belgian flag.

In a similar spectacle to that seen following the massacres in Paris in November, Tower Bridge, the Brandenburg Gate, Burj Khalifa and Christ the Redeemer statue were among those illuminated.

The display was not repeated for Lahore, but photos of the Eiffel Tower in green and gold was widely shared with the hashtag #prayforPakistan.

One person praised the “beautiful show of solidarity” but commentators quickly pointed out that photos being used on Twitter dated from 2007.

According to the Eiffel Tower’s official website, the monument was illuminated to honour France hosting the Rugby World Cup.

The green section represented the pitch, while white beams of light created the illusion of goalposts and a giant rugby ball was suspended from the second floor.

Many commenters were angered that the same commemorations seen for Belgium, where 35 died, had not been afforded for Pakistan.

"Strange how Europeans are only upset when they die," one person wrote. Another added: "The Eiffel Tower is not lit up for Pakistan. Wish it was though to prove an unbiased world."

The Easter bombing was Pakistan's deadliest attack since a 2014 school massacre claimed by the Taliban killed 134 students.

A faction of the Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, which is believed to have targeted Christians, and issued a new threat on Tuesday.

This month has seen a string of deadly terror attacks in Iraq, Turkey, Yemen and the Ivory Coast, mostly claimed by Isis and other Islamist groups.

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