The Eiffel Tower is a world-famous sight. The 324-metre-tall tower gets millions of tourists every year. It has been an important part of the Paris skyline for 133 years. However, it is showing its age. Engineers conducted a survey of the tower and found its metal is full of rust. They said it was "in a poor state". They said if its designer, Gustave Eiffel, was alive today, "he would have a heart attack". There are many cracks in the iron. The tower needs many repairs. A report said there were 698 faults on the tower. These could put the tower's long-term future in doubt.
Building of the Eiffel Tower started in 1887. It opened to the public in 1889. It was built for the 1889 World's Fair in Paris. It contains 10,100 tons of iron, 18,000 sections and 2.5 million rivets. The original plan was for the tower to be taken down after 20 years. The French government changed its mind and kept it. The tower is now being repainted for the 2024 Olympics. Engineers say painting it will not make the rust problem go away. They say all the paint needs to be removed first. However, this would take too long. The tower would lose tourist revenue.