Cover the Eiffel Tower in Plants? Not Today, Anyway

Cover the Eiffel Tower in Plants? Not Today, Anyway

Michele Berger
Published: 12/06/2011

Grant Matthews, Flickr Creative Commons

A four-year, 74-million Euro plan to cover the 1,000-foot-tall Eiffel Tower in plants apparently isn’t happening. At least not now, according to a report from the Associated Press quoting a statement from Paris City Hall.

In late November, French newspaper Le Figaro leaked that the 122-year-old monument would become the world’s largest tree, courtesy of green-engineering firm Ginger. “Beginning in June 2012, the most famous landmark in the world will be decked out in 600,000 plants for up to four years,” the article reads. “In this way, this Parisian icon will now become a blooming symbol of France’s commitment to the environment.” The hanging garden was to emblemize and become part of the country’s push toward greener practices and environmental awareness.

But as of yet, the Parisian government denies any such plans. “There is no project of this nature in preparation,” said SETE, the organization that manages the Eiffel Tower, in a statement.

It’s too bad, really. Picture what the landmark would look like dripping with plant-filled burlap bags hanging from hemp rope—378 tons of greenery suspended high above Paris. According to Agence France-Presse, the seedlings would have been cultivated between now and next June, when they’d be placed on the tower. There they’d remain until June 2016. Twelve tons of rubber hoses would have kept the plants watered. Quite a stunning idea.

“Should it not be the duty of engineers to imagine a new future where nature is brought back into the heart of the city?” the firm, Ginger, said in a statement. Frankly—and this is just my opinion—it’d be pretty great to live in a world where we “plantify” or “vegetalize” (or whatever else we want to call it) a landmark like that.