Apollo Magazine

A night to remember at the Eiffel Tower

It has been a monumental week for Paris’s leading tourist attraction. Let us hope recent events have distracted La Dame de Fer from an unhappy matter of the heart

The Eiffel Tower lit up at night. Photo: Chun Ju Wu/Alamy Stock Photo

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

It has been a big week for the Eiffel Tower. Two bomb hoaxes in one day, a rogue parachuter launching himself off its summit and, to top things off, two American tourists were discovered in the monument the morning after a heavy night. The pair had hopped a barrier before slumbering in an area normally off-limits to visitors. They ‘appear to have got stuck because of how drunk they were’, Paris prosecutors told the press. A night to remember then, or maybe not, depending on quite how pickled the pair were.

Rakewell wonders whether such a rencontre intime with the tower could have saved the marriage of another American, Erika Eiffel (née LaBrie, rather fittingly for a Francophile). Back in 2007, Erika got hitched to the monument in what has been described as a ‘commitment ceremony’. Alas, this was no happy ever after in the city of love. Last year, the prominent advocate for human-inanimate object relationships left the tower for a red fence (whether Eiffel will retain her married name is unclear). Divorce statistics being what they are, this comes as no surprise. And, as Erika was previously in a 20-year relationship with the Berlin Wall, she is clearly not on the fence about, well, fences.

However, one does wonder what a red fence has that the Eiffel Tower’s imposing perimeter fence (estimated cost €35m) doesn’t. Next year, the monument’s bronze-coloured coat of ‘Eiffel Tower Brown’ will be replaced by a gaudier gold to mark the 2024 Olympic Games in the city. Might refreshed paintwork lead to something of a rapprochement? Consider Rakewell on Team Tour Eiffel.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.

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