Eight activists from climate change protest group Extinction Rebellion scaled the outside of the Eiffel Tower on Sunday to hang a banner reading "REBEL" at the first level, kicking off a week of civil disobedience events around France.
Organisers said that in addition to the eight climbers, another dozen Extinction Rebellion activists were inside the monument to help with the unfurling of the giant pink banner emblazoned with black letters.
The climbers were arrested and are set to appear before a magistrate, the group told AFP.
"The public health crisis reinforces our message," activist Lea Lecouple said outside the Paris landmark. "Covid is just a symptom. It takes a virus to bring the economy to its knees. We've seen that CO2 emissions can stop, that airplanes can be grounded.
"We want to say: 'Stop everything! Let's open our eyes, this is an emergency'."
Extinction Rebellion is a network of climate activists which uses acts of civil disobedience to spotlight inaction on global warming.
The movement launched its first major action in April 2019 with 11 days of street blockades in London.