GLASS SHIELD TO PROTECT EIFFEL TOWER
Bulletproof glass walls 2.5 metres high are to be built at the Eiffel Tower as part of a plan to prevent terrorist attacks, Paris officials have confirmed.
The €20 million walls will be completed later this year at the northern and southern ends. Temporary barriers put up on the eastern and western corners for the Euro 2016 football championship will be replaced by fencing.
The new walls will prevent individuals or vehicles from storming the monument, which attracts more than six million visitors each year. The decision to build the perimeter comes as France remains on high alert following the terrorist attacks across France between January 2015 and July 2016.
“The terror threat remains high in Paris, and the most vulnerable sites must be the object of special security measures,” said Jean-françois Martins, the city’s deputy mayor in charge of sport and tourism.
According to the Le Parisien newspaper, some city councillors fear that the walls will turn the Eiffel Tower into a fortress and prevent tourists from using it as a backdrop for photographs.
However, Martins said visitors would get “a nicer view of the monument” and still have free access to the base of the tower following security checks. The new walls will be designed to blend in with the River Seine and the Champ de Mars.