Eiffel Tower reopens with strict virus restrictions
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Eiffel Tower reopens with strict virus restrictions
A visitor wearing a protective facemask admires the view from the Eiffel Tower during its partial reopening on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus. Tourists and Parisians will again be able to admire the view of the French capital from the Eiffel Tower after a three-month closure due to the coronavirus -- but only if they take the stairs. Thomas SAMSON / AFP.

by Eléonore Hughes and Maria Elena Bucheli

PARIS (AFP).- Tourists and Parisians panted their way up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower Thursday as the iron monument reopened after its longest closure since World War II due to the coronavirus, with the lifts still closed as a health precaution.

The initial crowds of dozens of people braving blazing early summer heat were a far cry from the usual queues at the tower's base in the centre of the French capital.

But the moment of the reopening of the great edifice was a symbolic one the country emerges from the virus lockdown.

The first visitors had to tackle the steep climb to the first or second level by the stairs, with elevators as well as the top observation deck off-limits because of social distancing concerns.

"I'm tearing up, but they're tears of joy. It's an emotional moment after these difficult months," said Therese, visiting from the southern French city of Perpignan.

"I'm going to climb, but slowly," said the 60-year-old, wearing the obligatory face mask. "And if I don't make it, it's no big deal!"

'More peaceful'
Those brave enough for the challenge in the heat mounted via the eastern leg or pillar of the 10,100-tonne landmark, coming back down via the west pillar to prevent ascending and descending visitors crossing on the stairs.

Turning around halfway is not allowed, and many people stopped their ascent at the first floor -- more than 300 steps from ground level.

As security guards went around reminding people to wear keep their masks on, Mexican engineering student Alex Mena, who lives in Belgium, said he timed his first-ever visit to Paris to coincide with Thursday's reopening.

"Coming to Paris without seeing the Tour Eiffel is like eating cake without the cherry," he said, even though he found wearing a mask was "annoying".

Tape markings on the ground enforced social distancing, and site operator SETE has promised "daily cleaning and disinfection of public spaces at the tower."

The middle seats on three-person benches were marked off-limits, and visitors were offered sanitising hand gel at regular intervals.

SETE director general Patrick Branco Ruivo said the tower's top level would not reopen until July 15.

When it does, just eight people will be allowed per elevator instead of the usual 45.

The 104-day closure cost the company 27 million euros ($30 million) in lost sales, Branco Ruivo said, with visitor numbers not expected to return to normal anytime soon.

The Eiffel Tower usually receives about seven million visitors per year, some three-quarters from abroad, but ticket sales will remain limited to prevent potentially dangerous crowds.

The absence of crowds was no problem for Iris Wang, a 25-year-old from China. "It's more peaceful and quiet," she told AFP.

'Now is the time!'
France is one of the world's most visited countries, and its tourism industry has taken a hard hit under the lockdown to halt the COVID-19 pandemic, with hotels, restaurants, museums and theatres closed for three months.

France lifted restrictions at European borders on June 15, and the tourism industry hopes that foreign visitors will start pouring in again as the summer season kicks off.

At the Eiffel Tower, ticket prices for children have been halved for July and August.

"Parisians and French, now is the time to come to the Eiffel Tower, you won't have to stand in line!" Branco Ruivo said.

Parisian actress Sabine Beaufils, 57, did exactly that.

"It's great! I haven't been here for a long time," she told AFP as she admired the view from the first floor through her sunglasses, snapping pictures with her mobile phone.

"Parisians don't come often, because of the queues. This time, no queue, nothing! By 10:00 am we were inside, it's extraordinary!" she enthused with a big smile.

While some of the tower's eateries have reopened, the Michelin-starred Jules Verne, which has its own elevator to a dining room perched 125 metres (410 feet) above the ground, will open only on June 30.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

June 26, 2020

When the Louvre reopens, it's going to be quiet

Gallery plunge French boy may never fully recover: UK court told

Phillips announces $10M Basquiat to highlight its 20th Century & Contemporary sale

Eiffel Tower reopens with strict virus restrictions

Facebook, citing looting concerns, bans historical artifact sales

Julie Rodrigues Widholm appointed to lead UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Sotheby's to offer the collection of Ambassador and Mrs. Felix Rohatyn across a series of sales this year

Christie's to hold an online sale highlighting the scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century

NSU Art Museum launches online collection with access to over 2,000 works

Museum Tinguely opens an exhibition of works by Pedro Reyes

Artcurial will close the season with its Furniture & Works of Art sale taking place on July 22nd and 23rd

Dutch photographer Bastiaan Woudt's first UK exhibition opens at Atlas Gallery

Charles Ede reopens its gallery space with ancient art due to have been shown at Masterpiece Art Fair

Miner becomes millionaire after finding biggest tanzanite stones

Luce Foundation emergency grants support American art

New sculptures to welcome guests back to The Garden and the Indianapolis Museum of Art this summer

Fine autographs & artifacts featuring animation at July 10 auction

Birmingham Museum of Art announces Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Robert Richardson Jr., biographer of literary giants, dies at 86

We don't have to like them. We just need to understand them.

Christie's and Maggie's announce partnership for online charity auction

Fry visible "Mae West" gas pump gavels for CA$7,800 at Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. online sale

RETNA massive painting leads Heritage Auctions' wildly successful Urban Art event

Robert Berry Gallery presents new works by London-based artist Machiko Edmondson

Online Divorce New York │ Why You Should Get One

Plastic parts- Injection molding- All you need to know

A Thread Of Love For Lovely Couple

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful