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France’s Eiffel Tower in need of full repairs: Reports

Monument being given a $61.8 million paint job instead

Published: Updated:

The Eiffel Tower is riddled with rust and in need of full repairs, but instead it is being given a cosmetic $61.8 million (€60 million) paint job ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, according to confidential reports cited by French magazine Marianne.

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The wrought-iron 324-meter (1,063 ft) high tower, built by Gustave Eiffel in the late 19th century, is among the most visited tourist sites in the world, welcoming about six million visitors each year.

Rust is seen on the Eiffel tower during the 20th campaign of painting and stripping in Paris, France, July 5, 2022. (Reuters)
Rust is seen on the Eiffel tower during the 20th campaign of painting and stripping in Paris, France, July 5, 2022. (Reuters)

However confidential reports from experts cited by Marianne suggest the monument is in a poor state and riddled with rust.

“It is simple, if Gustave Eiffel visited the place he would have a heart attack,” one unnamed manager at the tower told Marianne.

The company that oversees the tower, Societe d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), could not be immediately reached for comment.

The tower is currently undergoing a repaint in preparation for the 2024 Olympics, the 20th time the tower has been repainted.

Workers work on the Eiffel tower during the 20th campaign of painting and stripping in Paris, France, July 5, 2022. (Reuters)
Workers work on the Eiffel tower during the 20th campaign of painting and stripping in Paris, France, July 5, 2022. (Reuters)

Some 30 percent of the tower was supposed to have been stripped and then have two new coats applied but delays to the work caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the presence of lead in the old paint means only 5 percent will be treated, Marianne said.

SETE is reluctant to close the tower for a long time because of the tourist revenue that would be lost, it added.

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