‘Rock-solid’ ring of two inch-thick armoured glass surrounds Eiffel Tower to shield France’s most visited landmark from terror attack
- French authorities erect almost 10 foot high glass panels around the Eiffel Tower
- The wall will replace current metal fencing that is currently erected around it
- Fench soldiers and police are set to keep patrolling outside and inside the area
French authorities are building a glass wall around the Eiffel Tower in an effort to curb terrorists attacks.
The permanent security belt around the Eiffel Tower will replacing the current metal fencing around it with more visually appealing glass walls.
The company operating France’s most-visited monument says see-through panels are being set up at the north and south ends of the site.
Each panel, made from over 6-centimeter (2.36-inch) thick armored glass, measures 3 meters (almost 10 feet) high and weighs 1.5 tons.
Each panel around the tower is 3 meters high, over 6 centimeters thick and weighs 1.5 tonns
Speaking to the BBC, Bernard Gaudillère, president of the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel which runs the iconic monument, said the new walls were ‘rock-solid for absolute security’.
In all, 450 glass panels will compose the two walls north and south of the monument.
Two graphic grids have been erected on the two other sides of the site and bollards against vehicle ramming attacks will be set up all around.
French soldiers and police will keep patrolling outside and inside the area, as they have done since the deadly November 2015 attacks in the French capital.
The glass walls being installed allow visitors to admire the views from the nearby Champ-de-Mars gardens to the other side of the Seine River that cuts through Paris.
Paris authorities have started replacing the metal security fencing around the Eiffel Tower with a more visually appealing glass wall.
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The renovation, which will also embellish the gardens beneath the tower, is part of a £350 million project announced last year to modernize the 129-year-old tower that has become the most recognized landmark in Paris.
The security renovation should be completed by September.
‘When you are on site, you see that the 3-meter high walls, compared to the scale of the monument, are absolutely not visible,’ said Jose Luis Fuentes, an architect at Dietmar Feichtinger Architects, which is in charge of the project. ‘It will really look as if the square (under the Eiffel Tower) was open.’
Between 6 and 7 million people visit the Eiffel Tower every year.
Concrete bollards were put in place on bridges across London, after jihadists drove a van into pedestrians at London Bridge and Borough Market in June.
Last year, council chiefs were urged by Government ministers to do everything they can to protect railway, bus and coach stations against vehicle terror attacks.
In a report, the Department of Transport said bollards, benches and walls are ‘key front line measures’ to protect stations from a potential vehicle borne explosive device or a ‘vehicle being used as a weapon to deliberately target pedestrians.’
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