Most monuments in Paris go dark at 10pm due to rising energy costs

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Paris will begin turning off the decorative lights that adorn city monuments hours earlier than usual, plunging the Eiffel Tower and other landmarks into darkness to cope with rising electricity costs, officials said Tuesday.

Most of the monuments managed by the city will now be unlit from 10pm (2000 GMT), a potential disappointment for the tens of millions of tourists to the romantic City of Lights.

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Usually bathed in a warm glow until 1am and ablaze with blinding white light every hour, the Eiffel Tower now darkens after the last visitor has left, at 11:45pm.

But the streetlights will remain on for safety, as will the lighting of the ornate bridges over the River Seine, Mayor Anne Hidalgo said at a news conference.

The “energy sobriety” plan aims to cut energy use by 10 percent, Hidalgo said, which could help soften the blow from rising costs by about 10 million euros ($10.2 million).

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Hidalgo, a socialist who stepped up her efforts to make Paris greener during a failed presidential run earlier this year, said she would urge the government to do the same for national monuments in the city, such as the Pantheon or the Arc de Triomphe.

In August, President Emmanuel Macron warned that the high energy prices resulting from the war in Ukraine could spell the “end of plenty”, widely interpreted as preparing public opinion for a difficult winter ahead.

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(TBEN)