Thursday 14 December 2017

Eiffel Tower shut down again with tourists left bemused

The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower

Hortense de Roffigna

The Eiffel Tower was closed for a second day today as a strike over working conditions left frustrated tourists queuing in vain at the foot of the Paris landmark.

Thousands of would-be visitors hoping for birds-eye views of the city from the 324-metre-high (1,062 feet) iron tower have been grounded since yesterday morning as staff walked out over late-running maintenance work and pay disputes.

Officials said talks with unions were under way and they hoped the monument would reopen soon, possibly later in the day.

"It's very annoying," said Nicole, an Australian tourist in Paris for just one day. "There'll be long lines. A lot to do in one day and now we're waiting in the queue."

Many could hardly believe the world-famous monument, which is usually open seven days a week all year-round, was closed.

"I thought it impossible," said Alex Hokkanen, a tourist from Minnesota in the United States. "So many people come here each day and want to see this. I thought for sure it would be operating."

Built in 1889 and one of the world's most recognisable monuments, the Eiffel Tower sees some seven million visitors each year and up to 30,000 a day in the peak summer season.

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