Aiming high

Paris donates an 'Eiffel Tower' to Jerusalem.

eiffel tower 88 (photo credit: )
eiffel tower 88
(photo credit: )
Thanks to Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe and his Gallic beau geste, Jerusalem will soon have a new landmark - a 25-meter-high copy of the Eiffel Tower. The 1/12 scale miniature will be erected - bien sur - in Paris Square, also known as Place de France - the busy, mid-town intersection where King George and Keren Hayesod streets cross Agron, Ramban and Aza streets. The gift from the Paris Municipality will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem during the Six Day War. French cities have a tradition of offering presents to sister cities across the world. In 1885, France presented La libert clairant le monde, better known as the Statue of Liberty, to New York to mark the US centennial and as a gesture of friendship between the two nations. Completed in 1889, the Eiffel Tower replaced the Washington Monument as the tallest structure in the world, a title it retained until 1930. The Tunis-born Delanoe came to office in 2001 as the head of a coalition of Socialists, Greens and Communists, the first left-wing government to rule the French capital since the Paris Commune of 1871. He is the first declared homosexual to achieve a high rank in French politics, and survived a 2002 assassination attempt. His assailant, Azedine Berkane, was reported to have told police that "he hated politicians, the Socialist Party, and the homosexuals." Currently visiting Israel, Delanoe met last week with Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski to announce his gift. "Friendly relations [have] developed between Paris and Jerusalem. I believe that the upgraded square which is located in a central location, will help maintain relations between the two cities," Lupolianski said.