Goodbye metal fencing, hello glass walls: Paris authorities are building a permanent security belt around the Eiffel Tower, replacing the current fencing around it with more visually appealing glass walls.
The company operating France's most-visited monument says see-through panels are being set up at the north and south ends of the site. Each panel, made from over 6-centimetre thick armoured glass, measures 3 metres high and weighs 1.5 tonnes.
In all, 450 glass panels will compose the two walls north and south of the monument.
Two graphic grids have been erected on the two other sides of the site and bollards against vehicle ramming attacks will be set up all around.
Bernard Gaudillere, president of the SETE, Eiffel Tower Exploitation Society, second left, stands in front of a new security bulletproof glass barrier under construction. (Photo: Francois Mori, AP)
French soldiers and police will keep patrolling outside and inside the area, as they have done since the deadly November 2015 attacks in the French capital.
The glass walls being installed allow visitors to admire the views from the nearby Champ-de-Mars gardens to the other side of the Seine River that cuts through Paris.
The renovation, which will also embellish the gardens beneath the tower, is part of a €300 million (about R4.6bn at R15,54/€) project announced last year to modernise the 129-year-old tower that has become the most recognised landmark in Paris.
View of a new metal barrier under construction around the Eiffel Tower. (Photo: Francois Mori, AP)
"When you are on site, you see that the 3-metre 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."
View of a new security bulletproof glass barrier under construction around the Eiffel Tower. (Photo: Francois Mori, AP)