From The Writer’s Almanac for today, March 31, 2010:

On this day in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was inaugurated in Paris. It was built for the Paris Exposition as part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, and also as a demonstration of the structural capabilities of iron. The tower elicited strong reactions after its opening. A petition of 300 names, including writers Guy de Maupassant, Émile Zola, and Alexandre Dumas the younger, was sent to the city government protesting its construction, declaring it 'useless' and a 'monstrosity.'

De Maupassant hated the tower so much that he started eating in its restaurant every day, because, he said, 'It is the only place in Paris where I don't have to see it.'



04/01/2010 10:15

You would think that Zola, being one himself, would know an icon when he saw it!

The Eiffel Tower was an important development in western art because it radically altered perspective: For the first time, anyone (who could get to Paris) could look down on the world, something that had heretofore been restricted to balloonists.


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