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PARIS, Aug 20, 2018 (AFP) — Paris’s biggest aquarium has created a refuge for goldfish, providing a second life for any unwanted pets who might otherwise find themselves flushed down the toilet.

The Aquarium de Paris allows the city’s residents to drop off their fish, with the numbers using the service swelling around the time of the long summer holidays.

Instead of facing death in the city’s sewerage system, the rejected goldfish find themselves given a full medical check-up involving antibiotics and anti-parasite treatments.

After a month in quarantine, during which a minority succumb to the trauma caused by the change in location, they are then released into a giant tank where they go on display to the public.

“Some of them arrive very weak,” said Celine Bezault, who cares for the fish at the giant aquarium complex which is located opposite the Eiffel Tower.

Since it was created two years ago, the goldfish rescue service has been used by around 50 people a month and the tank now contains about 600 specimens, mostly the classic golden-red version, as well as striped and black ones.

Rather than spending all day banging into the glass of a small bowl, here the fish have space to swim and plenty of company, allowing them to socialise and move around in groups.

Some owners hand over their pets tearfully, motivated by concern for their fish, while others appear relieved to be rid of them and the routines of feeding and cleaning.


Once in the bigger tank, some of the fish undergo a remarkable transformation.

Being confined in a bowl stunts their growth, but the bigger space means some of them will expand to full adult size.

“They can reach up to 20-30 centimetres (8-12 inches),” Bezault said.

For Alexis Powilewicz, director of the Aquarium, the service is part of efforts to to promote awareness about animal welfare.



Paris, August 2, 2018 (News Wires) - The Eiffel Tower was turning away tourists for a second day on Thursday as workers pressed a strike over a new access policy which they say is causing unacceptably long wait times for visitors.

The monument has been closed since Wednesday afternoon as unions locked horns with management over a decision to assign separate elevators to visitors with pre-booked tickets and those who buy them on site.

At the same time, the tower now sets aside half of daily tickets for internet customers, up from just 20 per cent previously.

Workers say the changes have resulted in lopsided queues that can extend to three hours for those waiting to pay for tickets, and up to an hour for internet customers who are supposed to have reserved time slots.

They want more flexibility in managing the thousands hoping to reach the top of the "Iron Lady" each day during the peak summer tourist season.

Negotiations dragged on well into Wednesday night and resumed early Thursday, when workers were supposed to vote on a proposal offered by the site's operator SETE, which is majority owned by the city of Paris.

"The SETE is well aware of the disappointment for visitors because of the monument's closure, and its negative impact on the image of both the city and country," the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The tower's 300-strong staff has staged strikes repeatedly in recent years over issues including pickpocketing and maintenance work.

It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, drawing more than six million people each year.

PARIS, July 12, 2018 (News Wires) - The Eiffel Tower will be shut on Sunday as part of security measures being taken for a big-screen broadcast of the World Cup final at the adjacent Champ de Mars park, the tower's management said Thursday.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to watch the game between France and Croatia in the shadow of one of the country's most visited sites.

"For security reasons, the Paris police have requested the Eiffel Tower's closure," management company SETE said, adding that people who had pre-booked tickets would be reimbursed.

During the Euro 2016 final between France and Portugal more than 90,000 people packed into the Champs de Mars fan zone.

The Eiffel Tower will also be closed Saturday for the Bastille Day national holiday.

An estimated 12,000 security force members will be deployed to secure the festivities, Paris police chief Michel Delpuech said Thursday.

Fans flooded into the streets of Paris and other cities Tuesday night after France beat out Belgium to reach the World Cup final.

In the event of a win in the final the country is expected to erupt in an outpouring of national pride, like that which followed France's first World Cup win on home soil 20 years ago.

PARIS, April 13, 2018 - The Eiffel Tower was shut yesterday due to a strike by security personnel over the suspension of three of their colleagues, the company operating Paris' most recognisable monument and trade unions said.

The labour dispute was sparked by the suspension of three security staff after they complained about new working hours which would reduce their income, trade union official Denis Vavassori told AFP.

The tower, which welcomed more than six million visitors last year, has been hit by repeated strikes by its 300-strong staff in recent years over issues ranging from pick-pocketing to maintenance work.

The Eiffel Tower  is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.

Constructed from 1887–89 as the entrance to the 1889 World's Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015.

The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building, and the tallest structure in Paris. Its base is square, measuring 125 metres (410 ft) on each side. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was finished in 1930. Due to the addition of a broadcasting aerial at the top of the tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Excluding transmitters, the Eiffel Tower is the second tallest structure in France after the Millau Viaduct.

The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. The top level's upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground – the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift (elevator) to the first and second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the climb from the first level to the second. Although there is a staircase to the top level, it is usually accessible only by lift.