Steeplejack Antoine Olhagaray on repainting the Eiffel Tower gold by hand to prepare it to be featured as the backdrop for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris; today, March 31st, is the landmark’s anniversary.

March 31, 2021
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“Most of the time we move around like at a treetop adventure course.”

The entire project is expected to take three years (began in 2019) and cost an estimated $60 million.

  • The iron tower gets a fresh coat of paint every seven years to protect it from oxidation. However, this time is unique because workers have to remove nearly 20 layers of paint to make way for the new color. Much of it contains lead, forcing the painters to follow intricate safety protocols. Pictures of the painters hard at work here.
  • This will be the first time in more than 50 years that the iconic structure will no longer sport its signature brown color. When the makeover is completed, it will be the color its engineer, Gustave Eiffel, originally envisioned.
  • Pierre-Antoine Gatier, the chief architect for France’s historical monuments: “Why did Gustave Eiffel pick yellow-brown? … Probably so the Eiffel Tower would echo the whole city of Paris, with its cut-stone houses made of limestone.”
  • Why it matters: While the “Iron Lady” has changed colors multiple times since it was completed on March 31, 1889, this is being called “it’s most extensive renovation” yet. The Eiffel Tower, with its new look, will gleam in the background of the Olympic triathlon and the open water swimming events on the Seine.

Read more about the painting project: CLICK HERE

Some history on the historic landmark: CLICK HERE

by Jenna Lee,

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