Officials are hoping that the new pink color will reinvigorate Paris’ ailing visitor numbers, which have slipped behind London’s in recent years. The announcement comes at the start of the busy tourist season, with Mayor Anne Hildago declaring, ‘Paris will once more take the cake for most desirable city in which to eat cake.’
The decision has been called controversial, with the bulk of the work scheduled to take place over August when it will be most irritating to tourists planning to visit the city. The plan to transform one of the world’s most visible monuments in only one month has been regarded as particularly ambitious, given that re-painting the Tower typically takes between 16 and 18 months.
Under normal circumstances, the tower is painstakingly painted by hand by a team of 25 workers, who dangle from harnesses at lofty heights and brave intense winds. The job requires a whopping 60 tonnes of paint, not to mention balls of steel. The hefty order of pink paint has disrupted domestic supplies for the next several months, consequently jeopardizing the country’s beloved vie en rose.
Locals have reacted with shock and typical Parisian suspicion, fearing that the new color will attract hordes of selfie-crazed tweens – much like residents over 100 years ago feared that the tower, once built, would lure in storms and bad weather. The controversy is aggravated by what some observe is the tower’s phallic shape, which the new fleshy color will only unfortunately enhance. Critics fear that having a giant pink phallus presiding over Paris will not help the city’s somewhat prick-ly reputation.
This will not be not the first time the Eiffel Tower has changed colors. For its inauguration at the 1889 World’s Fair, the Tower donned a deep wine red – a color that later proved impossible to replicate, as the paint had been delicately aged in cellars in Bordeaux. It was subsequently painted a sunny yellow, but the color was branded too “optimistic” and changed shortly after to a welcoming muddy brown.
Things are looking good for the Tower’s new fleshy incarnation, with recent polls indicating that travelers prefer taking selfies in front of ‘controversial sights’.