French artists and cultural figures are calling for people to mark a week since the start of the Paris attacks with an outpouring of “noise and light”.

Hotel des Invalides, Paris.

Hotel des Invalides, Paris. Image by Bogdan Migulski / CC BY 2.0

The call is going out on social media under the Twitter hashtag 21h20 – or 9.20pm, the time the attacks began on 13 November. A letter in the Huffington Post is signed by dozens of artists, writers, musicians and other cultural figures, including singer Charles Aznavour, journalist Anne Sinclair and former French culture minister Jack Lang. It says the attack on “culture and freedom” should unite people of all races, faiths and backgrounds. The letter calls for people to turn on lights, light candles and play music so the attackers “will understand that they have lost”. The writers hope the gesture will show “that culture will continue to shine out and to burnish the light of hope and fraternity”.

Most demonstrations have been banned in Paris since the attacks, but Parisians have been spontaneously gathering outside the restaurants, cafes and concert hall hit in the attacks all week to leave flowers, light candles and hold quiet vigils. A demonstration planned for Friday at France’s oldest mosque to show inter-community solidarity after the attacks was cancelled for security concerns.

President Francois Hollande will preside over a national ceremony on 27 November honouring the 129 victims of the deadliest attacks on France in decades. The president’s office announced that the ceremony will be held at the gold-domed Hotel des Invalides, where Napoleon’s tomb lies and which is seen as a symbol of France’s military and international strength.

(Press Association)