The Place de l'Étoile, arguably the most famous roundabout in Europe, has long been a visual spectacular for the 110,000 vehicles that cross it daily. But motorists that enter it today from one of the 12 grand avenues that act as entry points will have an additional sight to behold as overnight the Paris 2024 Paralympic Agitos were revealed to the world, adorning its central landmark the Arc De Triomphe!

As an official partner of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, ArcelorMittal has manufactured the torches for the Olympic and Paralympic relay, the giant Olympic Rings on the Eiffel Tower and the Paralympic Agitos. Aligned with Paris 24’s ambition that this year’s event be the most sustainable ever, all have been manufactured at our operations in France with XCarb® recycled and renewably produced, low-carbon emissions steel.

Each Agitos arc weighs one and a half tonnes and measures seven by three metres, with the whole structure coming in at 12 by nine metres. The front faces of the three arcs are coloured red, blue and green – these are the three colours most widely represented in national flags around the world. In the evening and night, the three arcs will be illuminated using an external digital mapping lighting technique.

Commenting, Professor Pierre Engel, the engineer who masterminded the project to produce and erect the Agitos, said:

“The Agitos is the iconic symbol of the Paralympic Games. It is a great honour to have been entrusted with manufacturing something that will be on display to Parisians – and to the world – for the duration of the Paralympics.

“Although smaller than the Olympic Rings we produced for the Eiffel Tower, the engineering challenge to place them on the Arc De Triomphe was significant. The landmark has been there since 1836 and is made from conflans stone. Therein lay our challenge – installing the Agitos without drilling into or damaging 200-year-old column stonework. Instead, the suspension elements hang from the monument itself which is made from plaster. We created as minimal a structure as possible – without compromising the support nine tonnes of steel requires – and painted it the colour of the stone so it appears almost invisible, giving the Agitos an appearance of magically floating on the Arc De Triomphe.

“I am very proud of what the team has created here today and at the Eiffel Tower earlier this month. Not only has it been a tremendous feat of engineering, but it also shows the endless possibilities of designing with steel, and that sustainable, low-carbon emissions steel production is a reality today.”    

The Agitos (from the Latin meaning ‘I move’) is the Paralympic symbol and younger sister to the iconic Olympic Rings. It consists of three arcs in red, blue and green – chosen as they are the three colours most widely represented in national flags across the globe – and is the heart of the Paralympic identity, symbolising its values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality. It was first introduced in 1998 and has evolved over time to the current version, introduced in 2019, that adorns the Arc De Triomphe.