Officials responsible for operating the Eiffel Tower are almost finished erecting a new armored-glass “anti-terrorism” wall to protect the monument from future attacks, according to the AFP.
The operating company, The Societe d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), has been adding increased security measures at the Tower, including the new wall, since 2017. The total cost of the security upgrades is $40.7 million dollars and construction is slated to be complete by the middle of July.
The walls are 2.5 inches thick, bullet-proof and, according to officials from SETE, are able to withstand a vehicle impact. The walls are “rock-solid for absolute security,” said SETE head Bernard Gaudillere while speaking to AFP.
Even with the new security measures, the tower will continue to be patrolled by both French police officers and members of the French military. According to the AP, the security forces were ordered to patrol the tower after the November 2015 terrorist attacks, in which 130 people were killed and over 300 were injured.
After the 2015 attacks, the Eiffel Tower was secured by metal fencing, but officials are hoping that the new glass wall will be more aesthetically pleasing.
“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 architect Jose Luis Fuentes from Dietmar Feichtinger Architects, the firm contracted to build the wall while speaking to the AP. “It will really look as if the square (under the Eiffel Tower) was open.”