Eiffel Tower to close Saturday ahead of Paris protests

The Eiffel Tower will be closed Saturday as Paris braces for a mass demonstration.

A notice on the Eiffel Tower website called the closure “exceptional,” citing “safety reasons.” Tickets bought online to visit the tower on Saturday will be refunded.

Paris last week was rocked by violent protests which led to four deaths over a proposed fuel tax hike. The government has scrapped plans to implement the tax hike but still expects a new round of protests over discontent with French President Emmanuel Macron.

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Over a dozen museums and theaters will be closed due to the protests and the Paris Opera has cancelled planned performances at its Paris sites, according to CBS News. The Arc de Triomphe remains closed after protests earlier this week damaged the monument. 

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on Tuesday announced that the government would not implement the fuel tax hike that was the impetus for the protests.

“No tax is worth putting the nation’s unity in danger,” Philippe said in a live televised address.

“If another day of protests takes place on Saturday, it should be authorized and should take place in calm,” he added. “The interior minister will use all means to ensure order is respected.”

Philippe told lawmakers Thursday that the government is bringing in additional law enforcement officers to assist the 65,000 forces already spread across the country, according to CBS News.

Macron was elected last year on a platform of government reform.