French authorities and the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel have unveiled an impressive new anti-terror plan for the Eiffel Tower, one of Paris’s largest tourist attractions — and one of the city’s most prominent terror targets.
The monument has had a temporary anti-terror perimeter since 2016, after a deadly bombing at the city’s Bataclan theater, but French authorities and the Eiffel Tower’s administration have been working on improving the barriers surrounding the tower, and bumping up security for several years.
This weekend, the new barriers went into place, including a massive, bulletproof glass wall on the monument’s public-facing side, and ten foot metal barriers on the other, the BBC reports. Eventually, authorities plan to add 420 concrete pylons to prevent vehicles from plowing through the thick glass barrier.
The improvements are expected to cost France more than $40 million. The effect is shocking; what was once an area free to the public — a courtyard, picnic space, and park — is now closed off behind ten feet of iron and glass on either side. An empty plot of land under the monument, once a public park, has been closed to the public since 2016.
Parisian authorities say that they hope to switch out the barriers — or take them down — before the 2024 Olympic games, slated to take place in Paris. The head of the Societe even suggested they may look for more “romantic” options, but at this point, must focus on security first.