Security fence around Eiffel Tower built to stop terrorists | News | DW | 16.06.2018
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Security fence around Eiffel Tower built to stop terrorists

The 3-meter-high glass and metal barrier is both bulletproof and strong enough to stop a truck on a suicide mission. France remains on a state of high alert since a series of terror attacks in 2015 left hundreds dead.

Thick bulletproof glass walls and metal fencing around the Eiffel Tower are intended to protect the nearly 7 million annual visitors to France's most popular landmark.

The security upgrade began last year, and comes after a series of attacks by Islamic militants that have left more than 240 people dead since 2015.

The new walls are part of a €35 million ($41 million) security upgrade due to be finished in mid-July.

The bulletproof glass is 6.5 cm (2.5 inches) thick and guards the Quai Branly Boulevard, which faces the river, as well as the Avenue Gustave Eiffel, which separates the "Iron Lady" from a park.

Bernard Gaudillere, head of the SETE, the company which manages the Eiffel Tower, told journalists this week that the bulletproof glass is "rock-solid for absolute security." He assured reporters the glass would protect against vehicle-ramming attacks.

Maintaining aesthetics

The glass barrier will allow visitors to admire the views of the Eiffel Tower from the nearby Champ-de-Mars gardens to the other side of the Seine River, which cuts through Paris.

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Metal barriers composed of curved prongs will guard the other two sides of the tower.

The entire security upgrade 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."

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bik/rc (AFP, AP)

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