(Reuters) — The Eiffel Tower, which is full of rust and in need of a complete repair, is to receive a €60 million cosmetic paint job before the 2024 Olympics in Paris, according to confidential reports cited by French magazine Marianne.
The 324-meter-high wrought-iron tower, built by Gustave Eiffel at the end of the 19th century, is one of the most visited tourist sites in the world, with some six million visitors a year.
However, confidential expert reports cited by Marianne suggest that the monument is in disrepair and riddled with rust.
“It’s simple, if Gustave Eiffel visited the place he would have a heart attack,” an unidentified tower manager told Marianne.
The Eiffel Tower Exploitation Company (SETE) could not be reached for comment.
The tower will be repainted at a cost of €60 million in preparation for the 2024 Olympics, the 20th time it has been repainted.
30% of the tower was supposed to be stripped and then two new coats applied, but work delays caused by the covid-19 pandemic and the presence of lead in the old paint means that it is only treated 5%, Marianne said.
SETE is reluctant to close the tower for a long time because of the tourist revenue that would be lost, he added.