Since its completion in 1889 the Eiffel Tower has dominated the Paris skyline and become the unmistakable symbol of the French capital. But did its creator decide to build it only after a chance reunion with a beautiful woman with whom he had once pursued a doomed love affair?

That, at least, is the premise of a biopic about Gustave Eiffel, Adrienne Bourgès and a 1,000ft metal pyramid that is due to woo French cinemagoers this summer when the tower, which has served as the backdrop for countless films and television shows, finally becomes a movie star in its own right.

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