When the Eiffel Tower is repainted for the 20th time since 1889, the iconic Parisian structure could return to its original color --- red.
The Ministry of Culture and the City of Paris are mulling over paint options, and looking back at historic choices. Currently a mellow metal color, over the course of 129 years, the tower has been painted red, yellow, brown, ochre, and once in an ombre effect that faded into the sky.
“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.”
Gustave Eiffel liked the original red hue for its protection from rust. (Another landmark, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, has been painted a subtle red called International Orange since the 1930s. The hue was first used as a primer to protect the bridge from corrosive elements, but consulting architect Irving Morrow liked it so much that the color remained.)
Painting will begin in October, part of a 15-year, $369-million (€300-million) renovation of the Eiffel Tower, which includes security measures.