The city is paying for the $20 million project, but residents view it as a psychological and philosophical affront. The mayor and city council approved the wall in an attempt to address safety concerns for the 6 million tourists that visit the tower each year.
Their concerns are real; tourism in Paris has been down for nearly two years. In that time, more than 200 people have died as the result of terror-related attacks in and around the city.
City officials point to the arrest of a teenage girl last week, who was arrested while making bombs intended to attack tourists at the Eiffel Tower. According to police, the girl, who is French and lives in the southern part of the country, had converted to Islam and had joined the ISIS state. Two weeks ago, police intervened on a machete-wielding man who was attempting to attack tourists at the Louvre Museum, just 2 miles from the Eiffel Tower.
Once the glass barrier is constructed, visitors on foot will pass through security checkpoints before being cleared to enter the greens around the tower. The bulletproof glass will replace metal grids that were set up last summer for a European soccer championship. Although the grids were supposed to be temporary, the steady stream of terror attacks in the city meant that the barriers will stay in place until the wall around the monument is complete.
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