Nick Charman was unable to travel with his wife Bernie to Paris last year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their honeymoon there because of Covid restrictions. To make up for it, he spent three months building her a 20-foot-high replica of the Eiffel Tower from around 600 wooden pieces screwed together, and erected it in the front yard of their house in Alma Terrace, Silverhill. The planning enforcement office of Hastings Borough Council has been demanding since November that it be removed following a local “complaint”.

PICTURE: Dave Young

“It was never meant to be a permanent structure,” Bernie Charman is reported as explaining. The tower was illuminated for the Christmas season, then Nick was going to take it down. But both of them have contracted Covid since and been required to isolate, and the planning office has indicated that the matter will not be pursued legally in the short term.

Ironically, the original Eiffel Tower, constructed on the banks of the Seine as the entrance to a World Fair held in Paris in 1889 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, was also intended to be temporary. Many cultural critics of the time felt it was a blot on the city’s skyline; it was saved in order for a wireless antenna to be placed on top. 

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