2024 Paris Olympics: Eiffel Tower gets $60m golden makeover
Ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics, the Eiffel Tower, one of the world’s most famous landmarks, is getting a makeover which includes a paint job that will give it a distinctly golden hue.
Not only will layers from the 19 previous coats of paint be removed in one of the most extensive revamp of its 130-year history, but the monument will also lose the signature “Eiffel Tower brown” it has had since 1968. It will sport a yellow-brown composition that Gustave Eiffel, the engineer whose company designed and built the tower, wanted for the monument.
Patrick Branco Ruivo, the CEO of the company operating the tower, said: “It’s going to give the Eiffel Tower a bit more of a gold hue than the colour that we’re used to seeing, in time for the Olympic Games.”
Pierre-Antoine Gatier, the chief architect for France’s historical monuments who decided on the colour change said Eiffel chose the colour so that the monument “would echo the whole city of Paris, with its cut-stone houses made of limestone.”
The renovation job for the 324-metre (1,063-foot) tower, with its 18,000 metal pieces held together by 2.5 million rivets, is monumental, coming to an estimated 50 million euros ($60 million).
The stripping of the old layers is made hazardous by the presence of lead, requiring a strict health protocol for workers.
The Eiffel Tower receives a new coat of paint every seven years, as much for the protection of its metallic structure from the wind, rain, sun and pollution, as for the maintenance of its looks.
The current work started in 2019 and is to be completed by 2022 when the new shade of gold — which for now can be detected only vaguely at the top of the tower — will be visible to all.
The Eiffel Tower will play a prominent part in the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, serving as a backdrop for the triathlon and open water swimming events. It will also tower over much of the adjacent festivities along the river Seine, where crowds are expected to flock for shows, concerts and other entertainment.
Locally nicknamed “La dame de fer” (French for “Iron Lady”), it was constructed from 1887 to 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair and it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015.