image: for illustration only – Caricature of Gustave Eiffel comparing the Eiffel tower to the Pyramids, published in Le Temps, February 14, 1887. Unknown author, via http://www.nndb.com/people/425/000031332/Image14.gif, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35016505
… monument is in a poor state and riddled with rust. The tower needs a full repair, it is claimed…
The Guardian writes:
When it was completed in 1889, the Eiffel Tower – Paris’s Iron Lady – was expected to stand for 20 years before being dismantled. One hundred and thirty-three years on, the tower is still standing, less by design than through diligent maintenance.
Now, however, confidential reports leaked to the French magazine Marianne suggest the monument is in a poor state and riddled with rust. The tower needs a full repair, it is claimed, but instead it is being given only a cosmetic makeover for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
“If Gustave Eiffel visited the place he would have a heart attack,” one unnamed manager at the tower told Marianne.
The 324-metre-tall, 7,300-tonne iron tower was built for the 1889 world’s fair. It has an estimated 2.5m rivets and was built using puddle iron, invented in Britain during the Industrial Revolution through a process that produced high-grade and purer wrought iron by removing carbon from pig iron in the melting process. Before it opened it was given four coats of red lead paint, now banned but then considered the best anti-corrosive agent.
Eiffel, the civil engineer whose company designed and built the monument, said identifying and stopping the spread of rust was the biggest challenge to the construction’s longevity and suggested it would need painting every seven years….
A report in 2010 said: “Sete must take another look at the Eiffel Tower and come up with a completely new maintenance policy centred on the testing of the ageing metal structure.”.…
….On the tower’s website, Bertrand Lemoine, an architect, engineer and historian, gives a more optimistic view. He says the enemy of iron is corrosion, caused by the oxidisation of iron exposed to air and water. But he says that if it were repainted the Eiffel Tower can last for ever.