The Eiffel Tower is riddled with rust and needs full repairs, but instead is getting a 60 million euro cosmetic paint job ahead of the 2024 Olympics in Paris, according to confidential reports cited by the French magazine Marianne.
The 324 meter high wrought iron tower, built by Gustave Eiffel at the end of the 19th century, is among the most visited tourist sites in the world, welcoming around six million visitors each year.
However, confidential expert reports cited by Marianne suggest that the monument is in poor condition and riddled with rust.
“It’s simple, if Gustave Eiffel visited the place, he would have a heart attack,” an anonymous tower official told Marianne.
The company that oversees the tower, Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), could not immediately be reached for comment.
The tower is currently undergoing a €60 million repaint in preparation for the 2024 Olympics, the 20th time the tower has been repainted.
About 30% of the tower was to be stripped and then have two new coats applied, but work delays caused by the COVID pandemic and the presence of lead in the old paint mean only 5% will be treated, Marianne said.
SETE has been reluctant to close the tower for a long time because of the tourist revenue that would be lost, he added.
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