Amid great fanfare, Paris' Mayor Anne Hidalgo has unveiled the long-awaited $1 billion revamp of the city's dilapidated main shopping and metro complex, often the first port of call for tourists visiting the City of Light.

The near-decade-long project came about after pressure from local Parisians who viewed the rusty 1970s structure — which is also the world's largest underground station — as one of the city's biggest eyesores.

The once-gloomy underground center has now been opened up, thanks to a giant, high-tech glass-and-metal undulating canopy roof designed by architects Patrick Berger and Jacques Anziutti that sparkled poetically in the spring sunshine Tuesday.

The revamped "Forum des Halles" also boasts 35 new stores and restaurants, including a brasserie by famed chef Alain Ducasse.