The Eiffel Tower has a new look.
Plans were set in motion months ago to build a bulletproof, 10-foot-high glass wall around the monument in order to better protect it from terrorist attacks, and it’s nearly complete.
French newspaper Le Parisien reported that the city of Paris was looking to spend about $22 million on the wall itself, plus another $320 million for renovations to improve security. In reality, the wall itself has cost $40 million to construct, according to ABC News.
The new, glass wall does not impede views of the tower, but opponents of its construction, especially people in the neighborhood, still feel that it changes (and therefore diminishes) the site’s design. The wall also limits people’s access to the gardens. Jean-Sébastien Baschet, the president of an organization called Les Amis du Champ-de-Mars, said in a statement last year, “The privatization of the gardens located right next to the Eiffel Tower is unacceptable and incompatible with the notion of cohabitation, which is very important to our neighborhood.”
However, following the terrorist attacks that killed 130 people in Paris in 2015, security is taking precedence over aesthetics.
“It will look much better than the temporary barriers that were installed two years ago, but most importantly, the security of our visitors will be increased, and this is our absolute priority,” Alain Dumas, technical director for the Eiffel Tower operating company, told ABC News.
The glass walls are present on two sides of the square, while the other two sides will remain fenced. Hundreds of blocks will also be installed in front of the glass walls to prevent a vehicle attack. Tourists and residents alike should still be able to enjoy access to the area without feeling inconvenienced.
The wall is to be completed this month.