Authorities deny Eiffel Tower to be 'world's largest tree'
French authorities were on Wednesday forced to deny that the Eiffel Tower could be transformed into the world's largest tree by covering the iconic structure's 327-metre height entirely with plants.
The denial came after France's Le Figaro newspaper reported that engineering group Ginger had spent two years working on the 72-million-euro (96-million-dollar) project that would see 600,000 plants hung on the tower.
The company that runs the Eiffel Tower, Sete, put out a statement saying that "there is no project of this nature in preparation" in response to Le Figaro's headline: "Crazy plan to 'plantify' the Eiffel Tower".
The city of Paris also put out a statement denying "the existence of any kind of project to 'plantify' the Eiffel Tower."
Le Figaro said that architects and engineers had already built a prototype several metres tall to assess the effect of the additional 378 tonnes weight on the structure.
Seedlings would then be cultivated until June next year, which would be placed on the structure until January 2013, the paper said. The plants would grow until January 2014 and be left there until their removal in July 2016.
The plants would be placed in bags of soil hanging from hemp ropes attached to the tower's steel structure. Twelve tonnes of rubber piping would irrigate the vegetation.
The project would produce 84.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide but the plants would absorb 87.8 tonnes, rendering the plan "carbon negative", the paper said.
Jean-Bernard Bros, a city councillor whose job title is "president of the Eiffel Tower", said: "You can't stop people having ideas."
"Nothing has been finalised, nothing has been studied. I had knowledge of this project along with many others, people suggest new ideas for the Eiffel Tower to me every day," he said.
© 2011 AFP