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Eiffel Tower Bomb Alert Clears Paris Landmark for 2 Hours

Image: Eiffel Tower Bomb Alert Clears Paris Landmark for 2 Hours

By Michael Mullins   |   Monday, 12 Aug 2013 08:46 AM

An Eiffel Tower bomb alert on Friday forced French authorities to evacuate and close the historic landmark for two hours before tourists and others were allowed back in to gaze over Paris' city scape.

The bomb scare reportedly came via an anonymous phone call at around 2 p.m. local time on Friday, prompting the deployment of a bomb disposal unit to inspect the monument as police evacuated several hundred tourists from the iconic structure, Reuters reported.

Some unlucky visitors who were at the top of the tower when the threat was made had to walk down some 700 steps after taking an elevator before they were able to reach the ground.

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Meanwhile, guests at the expensive Jules Verne restaurant, located on the Eiffel Tower's second floor, had to drop their forks and abandon their pricey plates mid-meal during the evacuation, Reuters noted.

The bomb squad found nothing suspicious and the tower was reopened two hours later, according to police officials.

The tower has been the target of multiple bomb scares throughout the year that have led to full scale evacuations, Reuters reported.

The Eiffel Tower was erected in 1889 as part of the world's fair, and is named after engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.

Located on Paris' Champ de Mars, the Eiffel Tower stands some 1,063 feet tall and is the tallest structure in the city of lights, and the second-tallest structure in France overall, after the Millau Viaduct – a bridge that spans southern France's valley of the River Tarn.

Having received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010, the Eiffel Tower annually hosts approximately 7 million guests and is accessible by both stairs and an elevator.

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Before being built, the tower's design was initially rejected by some in Paris, with artists in particularly protesting its concept, calling it a "useless and monstrous" and "[a] hateful column of bolted sheet metal," in a petition to France's Minister of Works.

In response, Gustave Eiffel compared the Eiffel Tower to the Egyptian Pyramids, writing "My tower will be the tallest edifice ever erected by man. Will it not also be grandiose in its way? And why would something admirable in Egypt become hideous and ridiculous in Paris?"

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