PARIS — The Eiffel Tower will become a "giant Christmas tree" as Paris rings in the New Year with a spectacular light and music show, city officials said Wednesday.
The "unique and magical" display will round off a year which saw the tower, one of the world's most visited sites, mark its 120th birthday and usher in a new decade.
The fete begins at 11:30 pm with the 12-minute display that has been shown every night since October to mark the anniversary, using state-of-the-art LED spotlights.
The shower of light evokes the extraordinary construction in just two years of the tower designed by engineer Gustave Eiffel as the centerpiece of the 1889 universal exhibition in Paris.
Initially dismissed as an eyesore by Parisians, the vaulting iron structure, now 324 metres (1,063-feet) high with its antennae, was meant to make a statement about French industrial might and draw millions of visitors to Paris.
The first sequence will be followed by a 20-minute new show combining classical and electro pop music, stroboscopic lights and colour blending in a countdown to 2010.
At one stage, "the Eiffel Tower will transform itself into a giant Christmas tree with tinsel," Bernard Schmitt, the show's creator, said.
More than 400 new LED spotlights connected by two kilometres (1.5 miles) of cable have been rolled out for the extravaganza at a cost of 400,000 euros (560,000 dollars).
For those unable to be on the spot, the show will be visible live online at www.31decembreaparis.com.
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