Recent terrorist attacks on the French capital have led Parisian authorities to announce the installation of a €20 million ($21.2 million), 2.5 meter-high (8.2-foot) bulletproof glass wall around the Eiffel Tower. Two sides of the wall will have doors serving as entrance and exit points, which will also be enclosed by metal grids to match the tower’s architectural style.
This comes in response to the attacks that have taken more than 200 lives since 2015 in Paris alone. “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-Francois Martins says.
The glass wall is not only designed to protect visitors from bullets, but to also prevent individuals or vehicles from storming into the site, which is visited by six million people every year.
Moreover, in preparation for the 2024 Olympic Games and the Universal Exhibition the following year, the city authorities have announced (link in French) plans for renovations worth €300 million ($318 million). The construction work will take place over the next 15 years and will include modernizations to improve security, reduce the long queues to get in and protect visitors waiting in the rain and snow.
The European Forum for Urban Security (EFUS) previously responded to terrorist acts by gathering municipalities from seven European cities to discuss how to tackle security issues threatening both their citizens and their tourism industries. With the support of the European Commission, between 2013 and 2015, EFUS led a project assembling enthusiasts coming from diversified backgrounds in terms of geography, size and types of tourism, to look into many aspects of the issue.
Tourism and criminology experts Janez Mekinc and Rob Mawby also took part in the discussions. The cities that participated included Alba and Rome from Italy, Barcelona from Spain, Brasov from Romania, Munich from Germany, Saint-Denis from France, the non-profit organisation BRAVVO from the Belgian City of Brussels, along with the Portuguese Association of Victim Support, APAV.