Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bon Anniversaire Eiffel

You must get sick of me going on about the Eiffel tower as I do or continually posting photos of it.   Yet its very existence makes it newsworthy and quite frankly, makes both it and the city where it resides magnificent. 

It had a birthday the other day that slipped by me.  This iron beauty turned 120 on Tuesday.  Quite the achievement for a structure that was destined to be demolished after its usefulness once the 1900 World's Fair was complete.  How about thumbing your nose and letting out a great big raspberry to the city planners about that! I would be slightly smug myself and like this awesome creature, do my best to continue strutting my beautiful Eiffel stuff.  She still has it going on.  

As a way to say thank you for all that she does for the city and the nation, the tower is getting a birthday gift of sorts.  Work began on repainting the Eiffel Tower this past Tuesday.  Checking in as the 19th edition of this sizable project, this particular upkeep takes place roughly every seven years. Surprisingly, the color used has changed a few times throughout its history--going from a reddish-brown to yellow ochre (that had to be awful), to chestnut brown (better) and finally bronze which is what it has been during it's contemporary history.  It is shaded off towards the top to make sure it appears consistent throughout as visitors look at it from a distance.  Always thinking those French. 

Picking the color is the easy part.  Making it happen is a logistic nightmare as you can imagine.  Sixty tons of paint, 15oo brushes, 50 kilometers of security cord with monster hooks to keep a team of 25 painters safely fastened to the ironwork are required.  Five acres of protection netting ensures additional security and all of this is going to be around for about a year.  

In an interview with some of the workers on French TV, these crazy brave guys (not too unlike the iron workers who literally perform ballet maneuvers 18 floors up while they create the framework for buildings here in Chicago) love being strung to the tower.  The view is magnificent they say and once up there, they are in a world all their own.  

Kings of the domain.  That would be great work if you can get it. 


My Castle in Spain said...

eh grande dame needs a bit of retouching..
Kim, did you know that its color is actually patented ? I learnt this a few days ago listening to Fip radio.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

What a lovely post Kim!

Kim said...

Lala, I didn't know that. A room painted Eiffel Tower bronze might be interesting.

Philip, thank you my friend. Missed seeing you around these parts lately. World traveler that you are....