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Red, pink and yellow: this is why you won’t probably recognize the Eiffel Tower

Maria Sergeeva
March 13, 2018

When you’ll go to Paris for the next time, you might think you’re losing your mind.  The principal symbol of the capital of love, the Iron Lady with its familiar shade of brown , could be painted red. A good reason for some to visit Paris to update pictures and for some – never to come back there.

It might be hard to imagine icon of France was a subject of controversy, drawing criticism from artist and most of Parisians when it was first erected in 1889. But the general disapproval would be more understandable  if the black and white images that captured the early days of the Eiffel Tower in Paris were in colour. In fact, the Iron Lady was originally red.

Although it may seem impossible now, the general hate is perhaps more believable when you consider that the monument was originally painted red at the request of its designer Gustave Eiffel.

Such an extravagant colour is easy to explain: the tower was painted red due to the colour's rust fighting capabilities. In 1892, it was painted an equally hard to imagine ochre - a light shade of orange.

 And it didn't stop there.

 In 1899, things really got creative when the monument was painted an orange yellow at its base and light yellow at the top. And from 1907 to 1954, it was a yellow brown colour before it was painted brown red in 1968.

A three-year makeover which is set to take place from October 2018 through to the end of 2021 could see the world famous monument return to its more colourful roots. The Iron Lady painted a specially designed shade of brown might  become ancient history even though it hasn't yet been decided whether the monument will definitely be given a bright makeover.

We will rediscover and revive these old colors, like we do when we restore an old painting,” a specialist from the ministry told Le Parisien. “This will give some food for thought as to whether or not to add nuances to the current hue.

Meanwhile, since November 2017, tourists dreaming to visit the French capital's most iconic monument have to shell out almost 50 percent more for a ticket to fund those questionable renovations. Those who want to go to the second floor by lift are now paying €16 instead of €11.

Fortunately, a large portion of which will go towards the construction of a bullet-proof palisade around the tower, not the repainting which is still uncertain.

Anyway, the Eiffel Tower remains one of the least expensive towers to visit in the world, even compared to the ticket price for the Montparnasse Tower Panoramic Observation Deck, €17, let alone the tickets to New York's Empire State Building costing €30 and tourists paying €87 to reach the top of the highest tower in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubaï. 

Photo via Wikipedia Commons / Nitot