The Eiffel Tower has not caught fire

22 January 2024
What was claimed

Photos show the Eiffel Tower has been engulfed in flames in recent days.

Our verdict

This is not true. The Eiffel Tower has not caught fire.

Photos appearing to show the Eiffel Tower engulfed in flames and smoke have been circulating widely on social media in recent days. 

The photos have been shared on X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook with the caption: “The Eiffel Tower caught fire, one of the most emblematic monuments in the world, located in the heart of Paris. According to the latest information, firefighters have not yet been able to control the fire that occurred yesterday afternoon.”

While we’ve not been able to confirm the source of these pictures, or whether they are edited or AI-generated in some way, the Eiffel Tower has not caught fire. 

Multiple live streams show the Paris landmark remains standing with no signs of fire damage at the time of publication. 

There are no reports of a fire on the monument’s official website and tickets to climb the tower are still available to buy. Photos posted by the official social media channels as recently as 20 January show the Eiffel Tower covered in snow. 

Neither the Paris fire brigade or police have recorded any such fire, and we can find no media reports. 

Moreover, there have been no statements from public figures such as the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, the Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, or the President, Emmanuel Macron.

By contrast, there was significant media attention when a fire broke out at Notre-Dame Cathedral in 2019.

Full Fact has written about other images and videos that claim to show events in Paris but are either AI-generated, from other locations or have been miscaptioned. These include images or videos of an explosion, escaped zoo animals, tanks parading the streets and President Macron in front of burning rubbish

It’s important to check whether posts on social media show what they claim to show before sharing them—you can read our guide on ways to do this here

Image courtesy of Benh LIEU SONG

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