January 10, 2013

0234, 0458 FRANCE (Île-de-France) - Eiffel Tower - part of Paris, Banks of the Seine (UNESCO WHS)

0234 Eiffel Tower (1)

The Eiffel Tower (La Tour Eiffel) was built in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair, on the  Champ de Mars in Paris, and it has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. It's named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower, which has 320m and was the tallest man-made structure in the world for 41 years. Is know very well all these things. Is less known that it would have to recover the cost of construction in 20 years, and after this it had to be dismantled. But the cost was recovered in a year, and the tower wasn't removed even today.

0458 Eiffel Tower (2)
If it wasn't dismantled, instead was sold in 1925 by Victor Lustig, a con artist born in Hostinné, today a town in Czech Republic. How did this? Very simple. Lustig invited six scrap metal dealers to a meeting at the one of the most prestigious hotels of the Paris, to discuss a possible business deal. There, Lustig introduced himself as the deputy director-general of the Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs, and told the group that the upkeep on the Eiffel Tower wanted to sell it for scrap. Finally he collected the money (plus a large bribe) from one dealer, Andre Poisson, who wanted to enter in the inner circles of the Parisian business community. After that, the con took a train for Vienna with a suitcase full of cash. A month later, Lustig returned to Paris and tried to sell the Tower once more, but this time hasn't succeeded.

Eiffel Tower is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Paris, Banks of the Seine, about which I wrote here

About the stamp, blue Marianne et l'Europe, I wrote here.

Sender 0234, 0458: Dragoş Cioroboiu
Sent from Paris (Île-de-France / France), on 12.04.2012

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