On Monday 18th Jun, 2018

Eiffel Tower gets glass walls to protect against terror attacks

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Travel at 60

The 3.24m high walls that will protect the iconic monument. Source: Getty.

After the tragic 2015 terror attacks in Paris that left 120 people dead, security measures around the city have drastically increased.

Visitors to the Eiffel Tower will now be met with thick walls of bulletproof glass and metal fences surrounding and securing the iconic landmark.

The glass walls are 6.5 centimetres thick and will cover two sides of the monument. The remaining sides are taken up by metal barriers that measure 3.24 metres high. The glass barricades are bulletproof and both walls will be resistant to vehicle attacks.

The bulletproof glass walls that surround two sides of the tower. Source: Getty.
The bulletproof glass walls that surround two sides of the tower. Source: Getty.

The head of the Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), Bernard Gaudillère said in a statement that the walls were “rock-solid for absolute security”.

The addition of the protective walls, which will be unveiled to the public in mid-July, cost France nearly €35 million (AU$54 million, US$40 million).

Anti-terror groups were previously patrolling the forecourt under the grand structure.

One of the new entrances to the tower for tourists. Source: Getty.
One of the new entrances to the tower for tourists. Source: Getty.

According to a French government website, there have been a number of security measures put in place in recent years to ensure tourists continue to feel safe in the famed City of Lights.

The French president issued a State of Emergency in November 2015 after ISIS affiliates murdered 120 people in a series of coordinated attacks across the city that also left more than 350 people injured.

The increased security measures included greater police power and presence, a heightened number of inspections and increased staff numbers on public transport, especially in high-traffic tourist areas. .

Some French citizens were upset with the Eiffel Tower wall project, including the Association of Friends of the Champ-de-Mars president, Jean-Sébastien Baschet.

When construction on the walls began last year, Baschet issued a statement lamenting the extensive price of the project and the lack of consultation the authorities had with the public. 

The metal fence that surrounds the remaining sides of the tower. Source: Getty.
The metal fence that surrounds the remaining sides of the tower. Source: Getty.

Baschet argued the renovations would make it difficult for buses and people with disabilities to access the monument and that the effectiveness of the wall was yet to be proved.

“The side metal grilles will not provide the same protection as the glass wall. The incredible length of the wall, will make its security extremely random. The queues to pass security checks will continue,” He said.

It’s estimated that seven million tourists are expected to visit the Eiffel Tower this year.

Travel at 60
Do you agree with the new security measures? Will it ruin the Eiffel Tower or is it justified for public safety?
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