FRANCE: The Ailing Grande Dame

She has been reviled as a hideous harridan and hailed as a paragon of grace. Henry Ford tried to buy her. Maurice Utrillo painted her portrait. Poet Vladimir Mayakovsky dreamed of transporting her to Moscow. Hitler was photographed with her. More tourists visit her than the Statue of Liberty.

Alas, that grande dame of the Paris skyline, the 1,052-ft.-tall Eiffel Tower, is ailing. Parisians fretted last week as the French press disclosed that their cherished 88-year-old monument was in need of $10.5 million worth of repairs. Most alarming is the condition of one of her antique hydraulic elevators that take...

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