The Eiffel Tower May Soon Be Surrounded by a Bulletproof Wall
The wall will cost $22 million to build.
As part of the city of Paris' multi-million dollar plan to improve security around treasured landmark the Eiffel Tower, Parisian authorities will build a bulletproof wall surrounding the structure, local French newspaper Le Parisien reported.
The wall will cost 20 million euros ($22 million) and is part of a larger package of security measures for one of the city's most popular tourist destinations. The city will roll out some 300 million euros ($320 million) in renovations over the next 15 years to improve security around the Eiffel Tower alone.
“Sadly, the risk of terrorism hasn’t gone away,” deputy mayor Jean-François Martins said at a Paris press conference. “It’s not a wall, it’s an aesthetic perimeter.”
In the past two years alone, more than 200 people in France have died in terrorist attacks that took place in Nice and Paris. A series of coordinated assaults on the night of Nov. 13, 2015 specifically targeted scenes of leisure such as cafés, a stadium, and a concert hall, and French authorities immediately added extra security to top tourist locations, including the Eiffel Tower.
The wall will stand at around 8 feet high, covering only the bottom portions of the tower as well as part of the surrounding gardens, according to Le Parisien. It will be both bulletproof and capable of withstanding the force of a truck trying to ram through it, likely in response to lorry attacks in Nice and most recently at a Berlin Christmas market.
The wall will not prevent tourists from visiting the tower after they have passed through preliminary screening.
Parisians and visitors alike were quick to take to Twitter to mock the plans, with many calling it ugly or tacky. The government erected temporary border fences around the landmark in June 2016 for the Euro Cup, in a move that was also criticized for its lack of artistic appeal, France 24 reported.