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Eiffel Tower Shut to Tourists as Workers Walk Off Job

The Eiffel Tower was closed to visitors Wednesday because of a strike over contract negotiations timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the death of its creator, Gustave Eiffel.

One of the world’s most-visited sites, the Eiffel Tower is typically open 365 days a year – though it is occasionally affected by strikes – and is expected to play a central role in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Some tourists were visibly dismayed upon seeing a big sign beneath its iron façade announcing the closure in multiple languages, and apologizing for the inconvenience. Others took photos anyway, or rearranged their Paris plans.

Visitors could still access the glass-enclosed esplanade beneath the tower Wednesday but could not enter the 300-meter (984-foot) landmark itself. Stephane Dieu of the CGT union said it was slated to reopen Thursday.

The strike was declared ahead of contract negotiations expected next month with the city of Paris, which owns the 134-year-old monument, said a spokesperson for the company that manages the tower, SETE.

Unions said the tower’s 400 workers are worried about long-term prospects for the monument.

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