Paris Architects Are Designing a Bulletproof-Glass Wall Around the Eiffel Tower

by Ronald Johnson

City Hall in Paris has just announced a $21.4 million plan to construct an eight-foot-tall, bulletproof-glass wall around a portion of the Eiffel Tower. The announcement —which names its primary objectives as “aesthetics, access, and security”—explains that the project will be a joint effort between the prefecture of police and the country’s official team of architects responsible for government buildings.

The glass barriers, slated to be installed in the fall, will surround the north and south sides of the tower, while “ornate fencing” will permanently replace barriers currently in place on the east and west sides. This is the latest installment in sweeping antiterrorism plans in the City of Light, where just last week French soldiers shot a man wielding a machete near the world-famous Louvre museum.

Though renderings have yet to be publicly unveiled, the architects tapped for the project will reportedly design the walls and fencing so they blend in visually with the Seine River to the north and the Champ de Mars park to the south.

"The terror threat remains high in Paris, and the most vulnerable sites, starting with the Eiffel Tower, must be the object of special security measures," deputy mayor Jean-François Martins said at a press conference . The main objective of the glass walls surrounding the tower—a destination for some six million visitors a year—is to prevent individuals or vehicles from storming highly vulnerable areas.

Responding to complaints that the security installation will be unsightly, turning away potential tourists and their millions of euros, the deputy mayor of Paris, in a country where terrorist attacks claimed 238 lives between January 2015 and July 2016, said that the new permanent installations would ultimately offer “a nicer view of the monument.”

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