Many Parisians hated the Eiffel Tower when it was first erected in 1889. Although it may seem impossible now, the sentiment is perhaps more believable when you consider that the monument was originally painted red.
In its 129 year history, the Eiffel Tower has had 19 different paint jobs. And when the monument undergoes its 20th painting later this year, the Ministry of Culture and the City of Paris will decide if its current subdued metal color will remain — or if something else will take its place.
“We will rediscover and revive these old colors, like we do when we restore an old painting,” a specialist from the ministry told Le Parisien. “This will give some food for thought as to whether or not to add nuances to the current hue.”
According to Gustave Eiffel, the French civil engineer and architect, the original red color made it easier to protect the structure from rust. But since its construction, the tower has been painted ochre, yellow and several shades of brown. Once there was an ombre paint effect that faded as the tower reached the sky.
It will take 60 tons of paint to cover Paris’s Iron Lady in whatever color the ministry chooses, according to The Local. Painting will begin in October and is likely to last three years as part of a longer project. Over the next 15 years, the Eiffel Tower will undergo a $369-million (€300-million) renovation, including installation of a bullet-proof glass wall around the monument.