The Eiffel Tower is rusting and in urgent need of repair, according to leaked reports.
Another source said: “She is not likely to fall tomorrow morning, but it is true that she is not well at all.”
The structure is currently undergoing a repaint job with the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games in mind but experts warned the magazine that a “simple coat of paint” won’t do the job.
The current repairs are reportedly costing 59 million euros (£51m), but because of delays due to the Covid pandemic, instead of around 30 per cent of the monument being treated, only five per cent will.
According to the magazine, the commercial company who oversee the tower, Societe d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, are reluctant to close the tower for renovations because of the loss of tourist revenue that would entail.
The 324-metre tall tower was built for the 1889 world’s fair. Gustave Eiffel, the civil engineer who helped to design the monument, said that stopping the iron structure from rusting would be a key challenge.
He wrote at the time: “Paint is the essential ingredient for protecting a metallic structure and the care with which this is done is the only guarantee of its longevity. The most important thing is to prevent the start of rust.”
One report in 2014 by an expert paint company into the state of the tower found that it had cracks and was rusting. Only 10 per cent of the newer paint on the tower was adhering to the structure, according to their evaluation.
The report said: “Even if the general state of the anti-corrosion protection seems good to the eye, this can be misleading. It cannot be envisaged to plan for a new application of a coat of paint that will do nothing but increase the risk of a total loss of adhesion in the system”.
Head of the paint company, Bernard Giovannoni, told Marianne: “I’ve worked on the tower for several years now. In 2014 I considered there was an extreme urgency to deal with the corrosion.”