A green Eiffel Tower is on the cards, if an engineering company gets its way.
A French company, Ginger, has proposed adorning the famed Paris monument with more than 600,000 plants by the end of 2013, in an attempt to create a giant carbon dioxide-absorption system. The company estimates that, during the limited lifetime of the project, the Tower plants could absorb more than 80 tons of carbon dioxide from a Paris atmosphere that is overflowing with emissions.
The plan, which would include a 12-ton grid of interconnected rubber tubing, is to nurture the plants to maturity by 2016 and then remove them. The cost is expected to approach $100 million.
The ever-popular viewing platforms would still be accessible and the greenery would not obscure the view from afar, the company insisted, also predicting that the plants would become home to thousands of insects and birds.
The company says its concern is mainly an expected continuation in the rapid rise in world population and a resulting increase in carbon emissions.
The Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 World Fair, is consistently one of the world's most-visited tourist attractions, boasting seven million paying customers each year. The effect of a plant-covered Tower on visitor figures is unclear.