For the first time in its 110 year history, the Eiffel Tower has become a permanently illuminated landmark on the Paris skyline following the success of the New Years Eve Millennium celebrations in 2000.
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë was guest of honour at the inaugural event on the 21st June 2003, timed to coincide with a popular music festival in the Champs de Mars gardens surrounding the tower.
At the stroke of midnight the 500,000 strong local festival audience plus viewers of the live broadcast from television station France 2 watched in awe as the 1000s of light bulbs that make up the installation were turned on. The Eiffel Tower shimmered in blues and golds behind the festival stage, where the new VARI*LITE Series 3000? luminaries mounted on a circular truss were focussed to shine on the tower, adding dynamic colour for the spectacular ceremony.
The incredible zoom and powerful output of these 1200 watt units meant that just 24 VL 3000 Spots were needed, supplied by Phase 4 via VLPS Lighting Services French Dealer, CSI. The project was supervised by Fredérique Dorieux.
Like the British Airways' London Eye, the Eiffel Tower was ironically never intended to be a permanent structure, but the new lighting installation has certainly added a touch of sparkle to this famous landmark.