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Eiffel Tower to be surrounded by bulletproof anti-terror glass wall

The wrought iron tower has been surrounded by metal fences since last year's European football championships. The new proposal is part of a 300 million euro upgrade of the aging structure.

Paris' iconic Eiffel Tower, could soon be surrounded by a bullet-proof glass wall 2.5 meters (eight feet) high to prevent terror attacks, the city announced on Thursday.

The 20 million euro ($21.4 million) barrier would replace existing metal fences that were installed for the Euro 2016 football tournament.

"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 told reporters. He said the glass barriers would prevent individuals or vehicles from storming the famous site.

A statement from Paris City Hall said the transparent panels would replace the existing fences at the north and south of the 324-meter (1,063-foot) monument, which is visited by several million people each year

"We have three aims: improve the look, make access easier and strengthen the protection of visitors and staff," Jean-Francois Martins, a city official, said in a statement.

Frankreich Zaun um den Eiffelturm in Paris (picture alliance/dpa/F. Singer)

A barrier erected for the 2016 EUFA champsionships remains in place

Current fence spoils the view

Martins said the glass was an aesthetic substitute for the metal fencing, which was "useful in security matters" but "spoils the view."

Islamist militant attacks have struck France several times in recent years, including an attack in Paris in November 2015 which killed 130 people. On Bastille Day in 2016, a Tunisian man hijacked a truck and drove into crowds killing 86 people. Both attacks were claimed by the so-called "Islamic State."

Last week an Egyptian man attacked soldiers guarding museum The Louvre with a machete. 

The proposal was part of a 300 million euro project announced in January to modernize the 128-year-old tower.

French daily "Le Monde" reported that authorities were also considering a wrought iron fence.

aw/sms (AFP, AP, Reuters, EFE)

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