PARIS: The Eiffel Tower was evacuated and surrounding streets locked down on Monday (May 20) after a man was spotted scaling the upper heights of the monument in the heart of the French capital, Paris Police and the tower's operator said.
Specialist firefighters were on the scene, the police spokeswoman said.
"The man entered the tower normally and started to climb once he was on the second floor," a spokeswoman for the tower's operator told Reuters.
The esplanade underneath the monument was also evacuated.
The tower, one of the world's most recognisable landmarks, will be closed until further notice, the company added in a statement on its official Twitter handle.
Police have made contact with the climber but do not yet know why he began his ascent via the iron beams, a police source told AFP.
The tower is regularly the target of rogue freeclimbers hoping to scale one of the world's most famous structures, often for bragging rights.
But police have also been called in several times in recent years to try to thwart suicide attempts.
In October 2017, a young man ventured out on one of the beams and threatened to jump before police were able to convince him to come back.
In 2012, a British man managed to climb to the very top of the 324-metre-high tower before plunging to his death.
Nearly seven million people a year visit the 324-metre-high structure, which last week celebrated its 130th anniversary.
The first two floors can be reached by either elevator or stairs, but only elevators whisk people to the top observation deck.