The French government has announced an urgent £160million refurbishment programme for Paris’ crumbling Grande Arche
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Work on the south side of the 25 year-old landmark is expected to start this October and continue for two years, reported The Guardian.
The refurbishment follows the closure of the iconic building’s viewing platform, computer museum, conference centre and restaurant amid safety concerns in 2010.
Completed in 1989, the cube-shaped marble and glass structure was intended as a modern day version of the Arc de Triomphe.
Designed by Danish architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen, the 110 metre-tall arch is the centerpiece of Paris’ la Défense financial district.
It was also the last monument to be completed on Paris’ ceremonial Axe historique thoroughfare.
According to reports, one in six of its marble tiles are thought to be crumbling due to the weather and pollution.
Meanwhile the street level at the base of the north tower has been closed because of the risk of falling tiles.
Only 20 per cent of the privately-owned north tower is furthermore let while staff in the south tower, which is used by the French ecology and housing ministries, have complained of a poor working environment.
French architect Paul Andreu – who completed the arch following von Spreckelsen’s death in 1987 – told Agence France-Presse the building needed to be ‘completely reorganised’.
He said: ‘We were under heavy constraints in constructing a “modern Arc de Triomphe” that continued the historic east-west axis in Paris. The exterior appearance was given priority over the interior. Today, we need to completely reorganise the building.’