Paris builds permanent anti-terror fence around Eiffel Tower

10:18 PM | 16 Jun, 2018
Paris builds permanent anti-terror fence around Eiffel Tower
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PARIS - France's most iconic symbol is getting a wrap-around fencing that will protect the 1,063 foot (324 meters) tower from an array of potential terror attacks.

The thick, bullet-proof, glass is not only intended to guard against gun fire but is supposed to be strong enough to keep suicide-minded truck drivers from reaching the tower's base.

Temporary barriers were placed around the tower in June 2016, and are now being replaced with more permanent measures.

Set to be completed in mid-July, the fences cost nearly 35 million euros ($40.1m; £30.1m).

Bernard Gaudillère, president of the Societe d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE) which runs the iconic monument, said the new walls were "rock-solid for absolute security".

To prevent vehicle attacks, 420 blocks will be placed in front of the glass walls as an added protection.

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The forecourt under the Eiffel tower has been closed to the public since June 2016, with anti-terror troops regularly patrolling the site.

Up to seven million tourists are expected to visit the tower in 2018.

The country introduced tough anti-terror laws in October 2017 after almost two years of the national state of emergency imposed by then-President Francois Hollande in the wake of the Paris attacks.

More than 240 people have died in terror attacks in France since 2015.