ball drop-kicked into heart of France
It is the most recognisable icon of Paris, and
now it has been joined by a symbol of New Zealand.
Okay, so theirs is the Eiffel Tower and ours
is the world's biggest rugby ball, but it seems
Parisians don't mind having what looks like
a giant kiwi egg nearby.
The ball, on a site in front of the tower in the Champs de Mars, is part of an attempt led by Tourism New Zealand to interest the French in travelling down-under for the next Rugby World Cup in 2011.
An impressive video show is projected around its interior, showing images of New Zealand nature and lifestyles. It is intended to show the French that there is much more to New Zealand.
Maybe it's because the tower already has a large rugby ball suspended in the middle to promote this world cup, or maybe it's that the French think they can beat the All Blacks in tomorrow's quarterfinal anyway.
Whatever, the ball, which is 25 metres long and 12 metres high, will stay in place for three weeks. Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe and the district that administers the tower have given Tourism NZ the spot for free.