A section of the original Eiffel Tower’s staircase was unveiled in a ceremony at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Al Forsan Park on Friday.
The segment was used to ascend to the top of France’s iconic landmark when it opened at Expo 1889 Paris. Four years later, the stairs were replaced with a lift.
Celebrating the spirit of travel and discoveries, the staircase has been brought to Expo 2020 Dubai by Janat Paris, a tea house that served its beverages at the opening of the Eiffel Tower, according to a press release.
The project at Expo 2020 Dubai is dedicated to renowned Emirati poet, author, philosopher and explorer Mohammed Saleh Al Gurg, who passed away on 8th November 2020, and whose poems and proverbs continue to inspire curious minds.
Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman, Dubai Cares; Nathalie Kennedy, Consul-General of France in Dubai; Ahmed Al Khatib, Chief Development and Delivery Officer at Expo 2020 Dubai; Machiko Gozen, President of Janat Paris; Yabunaka Aiko, Secretary-General of Japan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai; and Dr. Bejit Dores, Business Partner of Janat Paris, participated in the event marking the French engineer Gustave Eiffel’s famous structure.
Referring to a photograph on show at the inauguration, Al Gurg revealed, “Our association, as a family, with the French government, goes back 36 years. This is a picture of my father on the Eiffel Tower with his best friend in 1964. My father loves France. He bought a place there in the ’80s, which is where he started, sitting on the balcony working on his poetry and articles.”
Kennedy commented, “I’m so happy and honoured to have a piece of the Eiffel Tower right next to the Al Wasl Dome – it is very symbolic of travel, discovery, innovation and universal values that are at stake today.”
Al Khatib said, “We’re really thrilled to have the opportunity of bringing the Eiffel Tower stairs to, and showcasing them at, Expo. If you talk about sustainability, this is a piece of history that is now also a piece of art. And it has travelled all the way from Paris to so many places, and is now here in Dubai. It is the perfect representation of the values of all World Expos.”