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60 Tons of Paint

If you'd lived in Paris between 1889 and 1930, you would have enjoyed the sight of the world's tallest building. La Tour Eiffel was named after its head contractor, Gustave Eiffel, and was built to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution. It remained the world's tallest structure until it was surpassed by New York City's 319-meter-high Chrysler Building in 1931.

Today's towers built close to the Eiffel's height are most often used for communication. Television, radio, and cell phone companies depend on such towers to transmit their signals. But the Eiffel Tower was built before radio communication was necessary, and even before the radio was invented.

As one of the world's most famous monuments, the tower has attracted a lot of attention, but not all Parisians welcomed its construction. The French writer Guy De Maupassant supposedly hated the structure, but ate at its restaurant every day. When asked why, he remarked that it was the only place in the city from which he couldn't see the tower. During the years between 1925 and 1930, the tower acted as the world's largest sign, advertising cars for the French company, Citroen. When the German army invaded Paris in 1940, the lift cables were cut as Hitler's men stormed the city. However, German soldiers still climbed all the way to the tower's flagpole in order to fly the swastika.

Modern structures make the Eiffel Tower look small in comparison. Today's architects design populated buildings that surpass 500 meters—nearly double the height of the Eiffel Tower. Even so, the romance continues, and the tower welcomes over 6 million visitors per year. To keep the 118-year-old structure looking fresh, 60 tons of paint are reapplied every 8 years! Through it all, the grand old tower lives on.

     
  1.

The Eiffel Tower was constructed to _____.

       
    (A) honor its head contractor, Gustave Eiffel
    (B)

celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution

    (C) be the tallest structure in the world
    (D) compete with New York City's Chrysler Building
       
  2. The tower was not built to be a radio tower because _____.
       
    (A) it wasn't high enough
    (B) radios were illegal in France
    (C)

it was built before the time of radios

    (D) radio waves cannot be broadcast from over 300 meters
       
  3. Why were German soldiers forced to climb to the tower's top?
       
    (A) A sudden storm damaged the electrical systems.
    (B) They wanted to send radio signals from that height.
    (C)

Parisians cut the elevator cables.

    (D) Parisians were attacking them
       
      commemorate   to remember officially
           
      swastika   a symbol in the form of a cross with each of its arms bent at a 90° (degree) angle half way along, used in the 20th century as the symbol of the Nazi party
           
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  Answers : 1) B    2) C    3) C
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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