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Paris millennium match


The little-known Nicolas Normier has been commissioned to design the major new millennium attraction as Paris's answer to Greenwich's Dome. The 200m Earth Tower, next to the Seine, is intended to symbolise man's love of the environment - alas, the timber structure, which will contain exhibitions, bars and restaurants, has already drawn howls of protest from conservationists about its wasteful use of rare hardwoods from the rainforests (the architect maintains that common pine will be the basic material). But when one considers the other attractions being promoted - including 2000 plastic fish poking their noses out of the river, and the Eiffel Tower laying an egg at midnight on 31 December 1999 which then cracks open to reveal a huge bank of tv monitors - Normier's vision seems positively attractive.

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