Eiffel Tower turns 120

April 1st, 2009 - 1:26 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

Eiffel TowerAn iron tower built on the Champ de Mars beside the Seine River in Paris famed as the Eiffel Tower turned 120 years old in March.

On March 31, the Eiffel Tower will celebrated its 120th birthday and a year-long project to apply a new coat of bronze paint will begin. Even though, the tower will remained open to the public throughout the 18-months of the makeover.

Two dozen mountaineer-painters will coat the Paris monument in 60 tonnes of environmentally-friendly paint, in a specially-mixed hue called ‘Eiffel Tower Brown’ chosen to blend well with the city landscape.

The paint to be applied in three shades from very dark to light at the top, it will be the 19th paint job for the landmark, which gets a new coat every seven years.The 324 metres above the Paris skyline, the tower is the world’s most visited tourist attraction, drawing some six million people each year.

In the past the tower has gone from reddish brown to ochre-brown, yellow, brownish-yellow and dark red, before operators settled in 1968 on the current colour.

Designed by the engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built for the 1889 universal exhibition in Paris and was initially dismissed as an eyesore by many Parisians.

The Eiffel Tower was intended to be taken down after 20 years, but the authorities decided to let it stand, first for use as a radio communications tower and then as a landmark in its own right.

Paris will be staging a special exhibition in May, followed by a fireworks display and night of concerts in July for the towers birthday.

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