Press archives tell our story / The Franco-Egyptian Bank and the Eiffel Tour

Episod #6


In 1888, the cost of building the Eiffel Tower was estimated at 6.5 million francs, with public authorities only being able to cover 1.5 million francs of this cost. Eiffel therefore approached banks to raise the additional 5 million francs. Faced with the initial reluctance of Société Générale to get involved in the project, Gustave Eiffel ultimately found a receptive partner in the person of Ernest May, director of the Banque Franco-Egyptienne, a forerunner of BNP Paribas. (Re)discover the key moments of this emblematic architectural project in Paris through the prism of the French press archives.


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About the series “Press archives tell our story

The video series “Press archives tell our story” is the result of a collaboration between the Archives & History department of BNP Paribas and Retronews-BNF, the team at the Bibliothèque nationale de France dedicated to promoting a collection of press titles published between 1636 and 1950. Five episodes based on archive images highlight the key moments in the history of the banks that were the ancestors of BNP Paribas. The origins of the Group, the internationalisation of its activities, the financing of the economy… (Re)discover our history through the lens of the press.


BNF press website, Retronews

Logo of the BNF press website, Retronews


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    Fermer Welcome to

    Well of History

    Since 1822, history has made us a key player and a witness of transformations taking place in society and economy in Europe and around the world. We invite you to share in our story and explore our archives to learn more about our constantly changing world.
    Jean Lemierre Jean Lemierre,
    of BNP Paribas