Parisian city monuments will soon be blacked out in the evenings as part of efforts to reduce energy consumption – Copyright AFP/File STR
On Tuesday, officials said Paris would begin turning off decorative lights adorning city monuments hours earlier than usual, plunging the Eiffel Tower and other landmarks into darkness to cope with rising energy costs.
Most of the city-managed monuments will no longer be illuminated from 22:00 (20:00 GMT), which could disappoint the tens of millions of tourists visiting the romantic City of Lights.
The Eiffel Tower, normally basking in a warm glow until 1:00 a.m. and lit up with blinding white lights every hour, will now turn off after the last visitor has left, at 11:45 p.m.
But street lights will remain on for safety reasons, as will the city’s ornate bridges across the Seine River, Mayor Anne Hidalgo said at a news conference.
The “energy sobriety” plan aims to cut energy use by 10 percent, Hidalgo said, which could help soften the blow of about 10 million euros ($10.2 million) in price increases.
Hidalgo, a socialist who highlighted her efforts to green Paris during a failed presidential race earlier this year, said she would also push the government to do the same for national monuments in the city, such as the Pantheon or the Arc de Triomphe.
In August, President Emmanuel Macron warned that high energy prices sparked by the war in Ukraine could signal “the end of affluence,” widely interpreted as preparing public opinion for a difficult winter ahead.