The Memorial To UTA Flight 772 Is The Most Beautiful And Least Accessible Memorial On The Planet

January 24, 2014 | 7 Comments » | Topics: Interesting

Wreckage of UTA Flight 772

Wreckage of UTA Flight 772

UTA Flight 772 was a scheduled flight operating from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo to Paris CDG airport in France.

Flight Path

Flight Path

On Tuesday, September 19th, 1989 the aircraft exploded over Niger in the Tenere region of the Sahara Desert. French investigators determined a suitcase bomb planted by Libyan terrorists to be the cause. All 170 people on board died.

Memorial Site

Memorial Site

Eighteen years later, families of the victims gathered at the crash site to build a memorial.

Due to the remoteness of the location, pieces of the wreckage could still be found at the site.

Building the Memorial

Building the Memorial

The memorial was created by Les Familles de l’Attentat du DC-10 d’UTA, an association of the victims’ families along with the help of local inhabitants.

The memorial was built mostly by hand and uses dark stones to create a 200-foot diameter circle

The Tenere region is one of the most inaccessible places on the planet. The stones were trucked to the site from over 70 kilometers away.

The memorial was built over the course of two months in May and June of 2007.

170 broken mirrors, representing each victim, were placed around the circumference of the memorial.

The memorial is anchored by the starboard wing of the aircraft which was trucked to the site from 10 miles away. Workers had to dig up the wing and empty it of sand.

A plaque commemorating each victim is affixed to the wing.

The memorial was partly funded by the $170 million compensation package provided by the Libyan government.

Completed Memorial

Completed Memorial

The memorial can be seen from Google Earth.

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  • KpH


  • jaczor

    It’s beautiful, but to me it seems to be a huge waste of money/resources, specially considering it’s build in such a poor country. (regardless of were the funds came from)

    • Lyle Petersen

      It’s a gravestone. It was funded by the families of the victims. Technically, all money and resources spent on the dead are “wasteful”, and that includes all cemeteries, mausoleums, crematoriums, etc…

      It gets spent anyways because sometimes being human isn’t always about the “most efficient and effective” use of resources.

      • jaczor

        Sure, burying someone or cremating a corpse is the same as spending tons of money to build a memorial in the middle of nowhere.

    • profnickd

      There are some things more important than material concerns.

  • grandmalcaesar

    so beautiful

  • Zack

    A true labor of love.