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Eiffel Tower set to go under the knife in major facelift that could involve new color

Photo: Getty Images


The Eiffel Tower is about to undergo a major facelift that could include a new paint job in an entirely different color, in advance of its 130th anniversary next year.

It's one of the most photographed monuments in Paris and the world.  

After wearing coats of various shades of ochre, yellow, brown-yellow, red-brown, and even an ombre color scheme (orange at its base to yellow near the summit) over its lifetime, today the tower as we know it IRL and from Instagram wears a customized shade of "Eiffel Tower brown" -  the same coat she's been wearing since 1968.

To make the tower appear slimmer, the Iron Lady is also painted in a gradient effect: darker at the base, lighter on top.

But as part of a major three-year makeover estimated to cost €40 million, the tower will undergo a new paint job that could revive any one of her original colors: red, ochre, yellow or orange, reports Le Parisien.

To decide on her next incarnation, tower architects, the ministry of culture and city officials will analyze samples of the 19 layers of paint that have covered the landmark over the last 129 years.

While the Iron Lady regularly undergoes a new paint job every seven years, engineers have noted that this year's facelift will require an unprecedented amount of heavy lifting, as the paint is cracking in several places.

Instead of painting over previous coats, a team of about 80 specialized workers will have to strip the tower of more than a century's worth of paint, from a surface of 25,000 square meters -- around 10 percent of the monument, or the equivalent of three soccer fields.

Covering that amount of surface area will also require 60 tons of paint.

To make matters even more complicated, the Iron Lady is covered in a protective, lead-based coating that could pose a health risk. To avoid air-borne dispersion and to protect the public, large tarps will be erected between the ground floor and the first floor of the tower, notes Le Parisien.

For tourists and visitors alike looking for a clean shot sans tarp and construction work, that means getting the perfect Instagram image or travel photo of the Eiffel Tower will have be shot from the tower's waist up.

Meanwhile, the transparent, bullet-proof wall surrounding the monument is scheduled for completion by Bastille Day, July 14.