PARIS (Reuters) – The Eiffel Tower was closed on Wednesday, December 27, the 100th anniversary of its creator’s death, due to a strike, the company that oversees the tower, Societe d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), said.

“A symbolic action on a symbolic date,” said the CGT union in a statement, adding that staff members wanted to call out the current financial management of SETE. They said they feared poor decisions could lead to a cash shortage, due in part to a lack of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to expensive repairs needed on the historic building.

The militant union threatened that if the city did not revise its management, the tower could be closed during the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The wrought-iron 324-metre (1,063 ft) high tower, built by Gustave Eiffel in the late 19th century, is among the most visited tourist sites in the world, welcoming about six million visitors each year.

(Reporting by Juliette Jabkhiro and Dominique Vidalon, edited by Tomasz Janowski)

FILE PHOTO: People walk in front of an illuminated Eiffel tower at a Christmas fair installed inside the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, December 18, 2023. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier/File Photo