Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris announced on 9 February 2017 that a 2.5-meter high bulletproof glass wall would be erected around the city’s most treasured monument, the Eiffel Tower.
The security measure has been undertaken in order to protect the iconic architecture from the threat of terrorism.
The Eiffel Tower is visited by over 6 million people every year.
• Security measures around the most popular tourist attraction had been heightened way back in 2012 itself during the European football championships.
• Temporary metal fences were installed around the structure’s north and south ends in June 2016. However, these barriers are going to be turned into permanent ones now.
• The work, costing €20m, is expected to be completed by next autumn.
• The security measure is a part of the city’s wider €300 million renovation plan that aims to modernise the site over the period of next 15 years.
• The initiative closely precedes France’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and 2015 World Expo.
• Along with renovation, the plan includes complete reorganisation of the foot traffic around the tower and other series of maintenance works.
• The city authorities mainly aim to create an improvised visiting experience that will also reduce the time spent in queues.
• The project was approved by the city council on 31 January 2017.
• The Eiffel tower was originally built as a temporary iron structure to mark the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris.
• It was scheduled to be pulled down in 1909 and went through its last major facelift in 1986.
• The first floor of the monument was reopened two years ago, after the installation of a glass floor that lasted two years.
• The tower is repainted after every seven years in its original grey shade. The whole process requires about 60 tons of paint and 20 months of work.
• The city currently spends about €13.7 million a year to maintain the legendary structure.
The city of Paris has been on high alert after a string of terrorist attacks in the city as well as in other parts of France over the last two years.