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Sun 7 Dec 2014 01:09 PM

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Extendable memorial proposed for Qatar World Cup victims

The concrete block structure would be added to with any further deaths of labourers during construction of the 2022 Cup, the architects say, but it is unlikely to be approved by authorities

Extendable memorial proposed for Qatar World Cup victims
Image courtesy: 1Week1Project

Two international architects have proposed a controversial concrete structure be built outside Doha as a memorial to the construction workers who have died working on Qatar’s 2022 World Cup stadiums.

The giant memorial would consist of concrete blocks that each represent one fatality, with more blocks added if there are further deaths, Doha News reported.

Staircases on either side of the blocks would allow relatives and visitors to move around the structure.

It was designed by French-Chilean architects Alex de Stampa and Sylvain Macaux but is unlikely to be approved by Qatari authorities, who are facing pressure to improve the living and working conditions of thousands of expat labourers.

Hundreds of Asian workers have died in Qatar in recent years, according to international human rights groups and embassy officials.

More than 450 Indians working in Qatar died during 2012 and 2013, according to Indian government figures obtained by news wire AFP under right of information laws.

The Nepalese embassy in Doha said in January it recorded 191 deaths among its citizens in 2013, with many of them from "unnatural" heart failure, possibly attributable to working outdoors in Qatar’s scorching hot summer.

Qatar announced earlier this year changes to the law that would improve working conditions for foreign labourers. Last month, it said several of the changes to its labour law would be implemented by the end of the year.

Macaux and de Stampa said their memorial idea would be symbolic.

“The Qatar World Cup Memorial project is a scalable building that raises awareness about the number of workers who died during the construction of the stadiums for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar,” they said in a statement.

“It is in the form of a tower made of concrete modules, each one representing a deceased worker. The higher the number, the higher the tower.

“This structure offers Nepalese and Indian families as well as families of other nationalities a site for mourning removed from Qatar’s cities and skyscrapers.”

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Leila 5 years ago

"Macaux and de Stampa said their memorial idea would be symbolic." Symbolic to which value exactly i.e. to slave workers until death for example? What a pathetic proposal versus humanity :(

Worker 5 years ago

oh my God, What did i just read ! this is absolutely ridiculous , if you want to stop the death of migrant workers then please try and put in proper policies rather than building monuments !!

MT3 5 years ago

I could be wrong but I think the intention is to create a tangible and visceral reminder to the Qataris of the true price of building the infrastructure required for the World Cup, a visual symbol to play on the collective conscience that the death toll continues to mount in the hope that it eventually gets through to them that these deaths are not justified. It is not intended as a retrospective memorial because the architects know it will never be built; the very fact the authorities will not allow it to be constructed is a tacit acknowledgement on their part that they know and are prepared to accept that more people will die building the WC2022 infrastucture, thus getting across the point it is intended to and keeping the issue in the public eye.

Doug 5 years ago

I suspect the architects have no intention of actually getting this memorial built - the plan is obviously by announcing it, they keep attention focused on the fact that workers will die building Qatar's World Cup, and it gets people talking about it. I suspect though this is too subtle and nuanced for readers of this site who seem to take everything credulously at face value.

Geko 5 years ago

Hope and pray it is a media prank!!!! Looking at the numbers, as if every visitor to those stadium would stamp on of those blood spot once or more... Such a poor standard and mean treatment of grave incidents should not go parallel with the quality of those structures....