Officials from Atlanta will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its sister city relationship with Toulouse, France with a series of events in Toulouse this week.
The events include a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Atlanta-Toulouse Sister City Committee and a ceremony to honor the memory of French citizens who perished in a chemical plant explosion in Toulouse on September 21,2001, ten days after the September 11 attacks in the United States.
“I am honored to represent Mayor Kasim Reed and the City of Atlanta in Toulouse, France, for the 40th anniversary of our sister city agreement,” said Candace L. Byrd, Chief of Staff for Mayor Reed.”Together, our cities will also share in our grief over the tragic events of September 2001 as we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the City of Atlanta’s gift of the Phoenix statue to the City of Toulouse.This statue represents how our communities rose from the ashes of tragedy to become strong, unified and vibrant cities.”
Ten years ago, the committee raised funds and commissioned a statue by Atlanta-based artist David Landis to give to Toulouse as a symbol of solidarity between the two cities. The statue features a phoenix with a15-foot wing span rising from ashes on an 8-foot pedestal, permanently located near the city center.
Twelve members of the Atlanta-Toulouse Sister Cities Committee will attend the events, along with Chief of Staff Candace Byrd and Office of International Affairs Director Claire Angelle, who will represent the City of Atlanta. Officials from the City of Toulouse and local members of the committee will also attend the events. The Atlanta delegation will participate in a number of cultural events to strengthen the connections between Toulouse and Atlanta during their trip.