“I ought to be jealous,” engineer Gustave Eiffel said, after his 1,070-foot iron lattice tower was erected in late-19th-century Paris. “She is more famous than I am.” The Eiffel Tower has since become an icon of France and a symbol of love. It’s also been replicated in cities around the world, from glittery Las Vegas to industrial Shenzhen.
But what has delighted visitors for the past 125 years is no longer enough. The “Iron Lady” (as the structure is nicknamed) has gotten old; in-the-know travelers and residents routinely advise friends to skip the Eiffel Tower for the quieter Parisian district of Montmartre. That’s why, for the past two years, architects Moatti-Riviere have overseen a $37.5 million renovation to bring the tower into the 21st century. Today, the city officially unveiled the makeover, according to the AFP.
“I hear that Paris has lost its luster and attractiveness, it is not true,” Paris Mayor Ann Hidalgo said in a speech about the renovation. “We are an attractive city capable of inventing without damaging anything in our history.”
The restoration’s crowning jewel is a new glass floor on the tower’s first level, where previous visitors had rarely lingered while exiting the structure. It offers the illusion that you’re walking on air and gives a clear view of the crowds 187 feet below.
Workers also rebuilt the Gustave Eiffel pavilion on the first floor’s north and east sides to contain a reception and conference room for professional events. The Ferrié pavilion on the south and west sides was improved to include event space, restaurants, shops, and a museum where the tower’s history will be exhibited. Additionally, the façade of 58 Tour Eiffel, the resident restaurant, was renovated.
La Tour Eiffel has come a long way. When Eiffel built it as the entrance gate to the 1889 World’s Fair, he wanted to show that France wasn’t just a country of entertainers but also of “engineers and builders called from across the world to build … major monuments of modern industry.” The “mechanico-phallic” tower, as critic Robert Hughes described it in The Shock of the New, was the ultimate symbol of modernity’s progress and optimism, offering many Parisians their first bird’s-eye view of earth. Today, the tower might better symbolize France’s avarice for tourism dollars — not to mention our own desire for ever-more-exciting thrills. The Iron Lady just might be Paris’s greatest entertainer yet.
Ceramic fried eggs, critiques of real estate, and a whole booth dedicated to female-identifying saints caught my eye at Untitled, NADA, and Art Miami.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office recovered 23 looted objects from Shelby White’s home over the last year and a half.
The award-winning Canadian artist explores notions of power through the imagery of science fiction in portraits, sculpture, and objects.
An egregious “anti-woke” billboard erected in Los Angeles attempts to sow division among Latino/a/x communities.
This week, missed signs of previous life on Mars, the appeal of forged art, and why are blue whales singing in lower octaves?
This affordable, interdisciplinary program with excellent facilities and private studios offers in-person instruction for 2023.
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed forcefully posits multiple parallels between the world Nan Goldin grew up in and the one she fights in today.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very Los Angeles art events this month, including Bob Thompson, Aimee Goguen, Uta Barth, the Transcendental Painting Group, and more.
The latest episode of this documentary series on PBS explores the meaning of home through handmade objects, hand built homes, and the artists who create them.
There is the singular artist and then there is the more exclusive club that has only one member. Harvey belongs to the latter.
The artists say the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma must sever ties with Poju Zabludowicz, whose wealth comes in part from Israeli defense contracting.
Rhode Island School of Design opens registration for its residential summer Pre-College program and year-round online intensive Advanced Program Online.
Vanessa Albury, whose eco-friendly ceramic sculptures help revive filter-feeder populations, is raising funds to complete her first film about the project.
An archeological exploration of the amphitheater’s sewers and water systems uncovered remnants of meat, vegetables, olives, nuts, and yes, pizza.