Plans afoot to extend the Eiffel Tower - underground

Authorities in Paris plan to extend the Eiffel Tower below ground so the ticket booths currently located inside the edifice's feet are hidden from view. Photo / Thinkstock
Authorities in Paris plan to extend the Eiffel Tower below ground so the ticket booths currently located inside the edifice's feet are hidden from view. Photo / Thinkstock

Paris authorities are mulling a plan to extend the Eiffel Tower downwards as above ground building would spoil the French capital's geometry, the head of the landmark's operating company says.

"Paris Council will deliberate on Tuesday or Wednesday this project for an underground building, we need further studies and we're moving forward with the project," deputy mayor in charge of tourism Jean-Bernard Bros told AFP.

Bros, who also heads the steel icon's operating company SETE, said that the project had been looked at for several months and that a committee had been set up to group together all the extension studies already done.

It is not possible to build at the ground level as "you have to respect the line of sight between the Ecole Militaire and the Trocadero," Bros said, referring to two landmarks with which the tower is aligned across the Seine.

The two-storey underground extension would house the ticket booths currently found inside the edifice's feet, an Eiffel Tower museum, a children's area and other visitor amenities.

Visitors currently often have to wait hours in lengthy and chaotic queues zigzagging around the Eiffel Tower to get tickets.

- AFP

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