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How many to change Eiffel lightbulbs?

If you spot someone wearing a helmet, attached to the tower by a cable, now you know what they're doing

A TEAM of a dozen electricians are busy scaling the Eiffel Tower this month as they get to work changing more than 400 lightbulbs and projectors.

The operation began this week and runs until May 18, should you see someone hanging from the monument by a cable and wonder why they are there.

Every summer, the company that runs the tower replaces the 425 sodium lamps - which are designed to give off a minimum of light pollution and give the structure its golden look at night.

Work began on Wednesday with winds gusting up to 45kph. Above 80kph it is no longer safe to work.

The team's newest recruit, 26-year-old Frédéric Perrazi told Le Parisien: "I was a bit apprehensive at first. But once you're up there it's fine. I was 17 when I saw the Eiffel Tower first-hand and I thought it'd be great to work on it."

A colleague added: "The biggest cause of stress is worrying you'll drop something."

The job maintaining the night-time lights is a tall order, pardon the pun - at a total cost of €70,000 a year - but it could be a lot worse.

The Eiffel Tower is also covered by 20,000 xenon bulbs that flash on the hour at night-times since 2000, connected by 40km of cables.

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