Paris will begin turning off the decorative lights adorning the city’s monuments several hours earlier than usual, plunging the Eiffel Tower and other landmarks into darkness to cope with rising electricity costs, officials said on Tuesday.
Most of the monuments under the control of the city are now not illuminated from 22:00, which could be a possible disappointment for the tens of millions of tourists to the romantic City of Lights.
The Eiffel Tower, normally bathed in warm light until 1:00 a.m. and lit up in dazzling white lights every hour, will now go dark after the last visitor leaves at 11:45 p.m.
But streetlights will remain on for safety purposes, as will the illumination of the city’s ornate bridges over the Seine River, Mayor Ann Hidalgo said at a news conference.
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The “energy sobriety” plan aims to cut energy use by 10%, Hidalgo said, which could help cushion the blow of rising costs by about 10 million euros ($10.2 million).
Hidalgo, a socialist who stepped up her efforts to green up Paris during her failed presidential campaign earlier this year, said she would also push the government to do the same for national monuments in the city, such as the Pantheon or the Arc de Triomphe.
In August, President Emmanuel Macron warned that high energy prices caused by the war in Ukraine could signal the “end of affluence,” widely interpreted as public opinion preparing for a harsh winter.