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The Eiffel Tower, Paris’ eternal symbol, will soon be flanked by two 8-ft. walls of bulletproof glass, Parisian officials have announced. As a potential prominent terrorism target, the security measure is an attempt to ward off potential terrorist attacks at the landmark site. News agencies report that the $21.2 million project is set to be built later this year.
The walls will be erected to the north and south of the tower, while sleeker protective fencing will replace crude metal barriers that were hastily installed during the Euro 2016 football tournament, according to the time.com.
As well as to protect against gunfire, the new barriers are also designed to prevent attackers from storming the site in vehicles.
Paris will construct the “anti-ballistic” wall as another layer of security, dictated by the recent spike in terror plots. France is still under a heightened state of security following multiple terrorist attacks that have killed more than 300 citizens since 2014, including the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine shooting, the coordinated Paris attacks, and the Bastille Day lorry attack in Nice.
“The front lines of defense—our police, military and intelligence services—have not proved to be fully effective against determined adversaries, and perhaps they cannot be successful,” says Thomas Vonier (FAIA), an architect with an extensive record in security planning and design. As Vonier told forbes.com:“The real front line becomes the public realm: streets, squares, and promenades, schools, courthouses, and places of worship, commerce and assembly. So architects are on the front line. Security is very much a part of what architects must consider.”