This year, the city of Paris has numerous plans to celebrate the birthday of France’s most iconic symbol, a structure that was not supposed to have survived more than 20 years.
The 19th Repainting of the Tower
In his book, The 300-meter Tower, Eiffel wrote that the only way to insure the longevity of iron is to protect it from rust. The best way to do this is with paint. Thus, every seven years since her creation, the Iron Lady has received a new dress comprised of 60 tons worth of paint.
Once upon a time, she was red. Then she became orange. Today, she is bronze, the hues of which are lightened little-by-little from bottom to top to create, for the viewer, a uniform perception of color.
To be held at the Paris City Hall (Hôtel de Ville) from 7 May to 29 August, 2009, this exhibition will commemorate the life of one of the world’s most celebrated engineers and enterprising visionaries. It will be organized in four parts: Eiffel in his time, Eiffel the engineer, Eiffel the builder, and Eiffel the researcher and scientist.
Exhibition: Epopée tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower Legend)
This exhibition will provide on-site itineraries focused around eight themes, each one its own independent mini-exhibition. They will be located on the first level of the Tower and in the Tower stairways from 15 May through 31 December, 2009.
Perhaps you heard that for her 120th birthday, the Eiffel Tower would be sporting a marvelous new hat? Well, though that may have been the hope of the Serero Architecture Agency, it is not a reality, at least not as of this writing.
I quite like the Serero hat! How about you?
Le Journal du Dimanche, 29 mars 2009.
Painting of Eiffel Tower under construction, 1888, by Paul-Louis Delance, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Painting of Eiffel Tower, by Georges Seurat, 1889, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Photo of Gustave Eiffel, by Felix Nadar, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Drawing of the Eiffel Tower concept by one of the main architects, Maurice Koechlin, courtesy of the Koechlin family and Wikimedia Commons.
Concept designs for the Iron's Lady's birthday hat, by Serero Architects, http://www.serero.com/index_en.htm