The memorial was created in 2007, to mark the 18th anniversary of the disaster, by Les Familles de l’Attentat du DC-10 d’UTA, an association of the victims’ families. Financed by a compensation fund paid to the victims by the Libyan government, it was constructed by 100 people working largely by hand under the desert sun.
The life-size silhouette of the aircraft lies inside a circle more than 200ft in diameter, created using dark stones set into the sand. Surrounding this circle are 170 broken mirrors, representing those who died, and arrows marking the points of the compass. At the northern point, part of the right wing of the DC-10 has been erected as a monument, with a plaque commemorating the victims.