Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Versailles go dark as France deals with energy crisis

Famed French cultural institutions take electricity-saving steps as prices spike across Europe, partially due to market turbulence caused by Ukraine crisis


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Published: Sat 17 Sep 2022, 4:47 PM

Last updated: Sat 17 Sep 2022, 10:57 PM

France's famed Louvre and Versailles museums will turn off their lights earlier as a symbolic measure to remind the public of the energy crisis sparked by the Ukraine crisis, the culture minister said on Saturday.

The city of Paris announced earlier this week it would start switching off the ornamental lights that grace city monuments it manages hours earlier than usual, plunging the Eiffel Tower and other landmarks into darkness to cope with surging electricity costs.

French Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak said on Saturday, the Louvre Pyramid would follow suit, going dark at 11pm instead of 1am.

The facade at the Chateau de Versailles, southwest of Paris will switch off its lights an hour earlier, at 10pm.

"Symbols are very important to raise public awareness," she said, adding that symbolic measures alone will not be enough to bring down electricity usage.

She urged French cultural institutions to take energy-saving methods like those taken by the Orsay Museum in Paris, which "reduced its energy consumption by a third just by changing bulbs and switching to LED", she said.

She also said there were discussions ongoing with movie theatres to replace their projectors. "If they switch to laser projectors, they could divide their energy consumption by seven."


Energy prices across Europe have skyrocketed in recent months, in part because of the turbulence in energy markets caused by the Ukraine crisis and the resulting sanctions slapped on Russia, a top energy producer.

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