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(September, 2004)

Robert Thien

17th St. Bridge

Mickael Therer

Le pont rouge, a suicide bridge

Luxembourg ville, Luxembourg

12:20 GMT+1, 18 Semptember 2004

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© 2004 Mickael Therer, All Rights Reserved.

Luxembourg has one of the highest standards of living, there is wealth transpiring from every corner of this banking city. Luxembourg also ranks 14 on the list of suicide rate in the world and it has many charming bridges often used for this last leap. This bridge is the tallest of the country, and is painted red.

"Since 1966 the gigantic arches of the Red Bridge have straddled the Pfaffenthal district of Luxembourg City connecting the old city to the self-important new one, home for the European institutions. Since its construction, the inhabitants of the quarter have slept a little less peacefully and they never walk under the bridge without looking up. They know that anything can fall from the bridge: bags of chips, concrete blocks, dogs and, even worse, man and women. More than 100 people have chosen to commit suicide by jumping from the bridge since 1966. They have landed on the roofs of houses, on the pavements and in children's sandpits". (1)

It was not until 1991, after a short film giving voice to the inhabitants of Pfaffenthal that the authorities reacted to this situation, and by 1993 high barriers were finally erected to stop suicide candidates from jumping off the bridge. It took 27 years to happen.

(1) from the synopsis of le pont rouge a short film by Geneviève Mersch
2 more panos from the red bridge here

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