These videos have been circulating for about a week on TikTok, X (Twitter) or Facebook, some with several million views. In particular on TikTok, a search with the keywords “Eiffel Tower” gives rise to a multitude of results that show this type of video.
These videos are sometimes associated with those, very real, of the fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in 2019. If the veracity of these images is easily verifiable by the inhabitants of Paris, many internet users have fallen into the trap.
These images are obviously fake. The Eiffel Tower did not suffer from fire, despite the realism of these images sometimes generated by artificial intelligence.
One of the most widely circulated videos, which shows a fire on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, is actually dated July 2023. A reverse image search reveals that it was posted on YouTube by a channel called “Augmented One”, specializing in 3D design and visual effects. A comment recently posted on the video reads in part: “To all viewers, these are special effects.”
The Iron Lady is not the only famous monument to bear the brunt of these mounts. On TikTok in particular, we find equally fake videos that show the Louvre Pyramid in flames, or the Taj Mahal in India.
As far as the Eiffel Tower is concerned, it is true that it has already suffered a fire, but in 2003, when a fire broke out in a technical room on the third floor. Around 3,000 people were evacuated. There were no injuries.