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Why the Eiffel Tower?

It seems so natural to think of the Eiffel Tower when talking about Paris. From the beginning, it was obvious to us. We had to propose something about it. Something that had never been done before, that would allow us to get to know it better, to discover it, to look at it and to gauge it. A new look.

For if we all know the Iron Lady, which of us really knows who she is? Even its name, so famous, that of its builder, is not the name of its inventor. Did you know that the Eiffel Tower was not born from the mind of Gustave Eiffel? That it was only an improved bridge pylon? That the Iron Lady was first, for some, the shame of Paris, before becoming its emblem?

How many secrets does she hide? Its success has erased its setbacks from popular memory. Its triumph at the Universal Exhibition of 1889 made people forget how much its existence was not a matter of course. The Countess of Poix, who filed a complaint against the city of Paris for fear that this immense iron construction would spoil her view, did not know to what extent what she was trying to avoid would, on the contrary, be sought after by all of Paris a century later: a view of the Eiffel Tower.

At a time when the legitimacy of the Eiffel Tower is no longer in question, it is very amusing for the rest of us to make fun of the concerns of an era when, apart from cathedrals, the tallest buildings were no more than three or four storeys high.

Finally, that's why we chose to start our adventure with the Eiffel Tower. We think we know everything about it because we have always known it. We can't imagine Paris without it. It is for us an obviousness. But as we thought about it further, we realized that few of us are able to tell its story. To what extent its appearance in the landscape of the capital deeply shocked, astonished, fascinated the Parisians of the 19th century.

This is the challenge we have set ourselves. Our goal is not only to tell the story of its construction, but also to retranscribe the emotions it aroused. In the guided tour that we propose, virtual reality will allow us not only to imagine the effervescence that existed on the Champ-de-Mars at that time, it will also allow us to experience it.

In the end, it is often what we have always had in front of us that we know the least about.