Two friends build Eiffel Tower from recycled wood - GulfToday

Two friends build Eiffel Tower from recycled wood


An aerial view of the wooden Eiffel Tower.

Two friends in western France have built a 16-metre high replica of the Eiffel Tower from recycled wood, which they hope to display along the path of the Summer 2024 Olympic torch relay and on Olympic sites.

Frederic Malmezac, a 38-year-old carpenter, paired up with 46-year-old Sylvain Bouchard to build the model, using wood that would otherwise have been thrown away.

"The project was to build a wooden Eiffel Tower replica using as much recycled material as possible... to show that with material due to be thrown away, we can build great things," Malmezac said.

The pair used about 825 pieces of wood, Malmezac said, starting their project in September 2023. They are hoping to soon get authorisation to display their mini-Eiffel Tower near Olympic sites.

Meanwhile, the Eiffel Tower, one of the world's top tourist attractions, will remain closed for a second straight day on Tuesday as staff extend a strike, a union representative told AFP.

The strike started on Monday in protest over the way the monument is managed financially.

The tower's operator, SETE, said on its website that "visits of the monument will be disrupted on Tuesday."

It advised ticket holders to check its website before showing up, or to postpone their visit.

E-ticket holders were asked to check their e-mails for further information.

The stoppage is the second strike at the Eiffel Tower within two months for the same reason.

Unions have criticised operator SETE for its business model that they say is based on an inflated estimate of future visitor numbers, while under-estimating construction costs.

The Eiffel Tower - Paris's most famous landmark - attracts nearly seven million visitors a year, around three-quarters of them foreigners, according to its website.

During the Covid pandemic numbers dropped sharply due to closures and travel restrictions, but recovered to 5.9 million in 2022. Last year, it attracted 6.3 million visitors.

Visitor numbers to Paris are expected to swell this summer as the French capital hosts the Olympic Games.

In a joint statement on Monday, the CGT and FO unions called on the city of Paris "to be reasonable with their financial demands to ensure the survival of the monument and the company operating it."

Alexandre Leborgne, a representative for the hard-left CGT labour union, told AFP that city hall, which is the majority owner of the monument, "refuses to negotiate for now."


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