Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends
How new technologies are modifying our way of life

dimanche 22 juin 2003

For the Fête de la musique held yesterday, the Eiffel Tower started to sparkle again for the first time in three years, and it twinkled all night long, thanks to 20,000 new light bulbs.

They replaced the older and sometimes broken systems in use for the year 2000.

Here is how the Eiffel Tower looks like now (image from Reuters).

The new look of the Eiffel Tower

And starting today, the Eiffel Tower Internet home page is also beginning to sparkle!

The Eiffel Tower will once again sparkle each hour on the hour for ten minutes, from dusk until 2 am (1 am in winter). This new lighting fixture is coupled with the gold-toned lighting system in place since 1986 for maximum effect.

Here are some details about the installation.

  • A lighting system built to last ten years
  • 25 mountain climbers needed for the 5-month installation
  • 20,000 special light bulbs (5,000 per side) attached one at a time
  • 40 kilometers of strings of light and electrical cords
  • 40,000 joints and 80,000 various metallic parts weighing 60 tons
  • 230 enclosed lighting fixtures and electrical boxes
  • 10,000 m2 of safety nets
  • 120 kilowatts of power
  • A budget of 4.55 million euros (or about US $5.3 million)

The New York Times is also publishing an article about this event, "Towering Above the City of Light, 20,000 New Bulbs." [Please note that this is a permanent link to this article, thanks to the agreement between the New York Times Company and Radio UserLand.] Here is a short quote.

"The tower is a fabulous, playful, festive medium, an incredible billboard," said Marc Gaillard, a historian of Paris and the author of a book on the Eiffel Tower. "It symbolizes Paris for the entire world, so giving it a spectacular face makes it even better."

So, don't wait a minute! Catch a plane and come to Paris!

Sources: The official site of the Eiffel Tower; Elaine Sciolino, The New York Times, June 22, 2003

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