French gendarmes patrol in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Dec. 30, 2016
Miguel Medina—AFP/Getty Images
February 10, 2017 3:51 AM EST

The Eiffel Tower will soon be flanked by two 8-ft. walls of bulletproof glass, Parisian officials have announced, in an attempt to ward off potential terrorist attacks at the landmark site.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that the $21.2 million project is set to be built later this year, according to a statement released by municipal authorities Thursday.

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.

The deputy mayor of Paris, Jean-François Martins, told reporters that the “terror threat remains high” following a year of deadly attacks in Europe. He said the Eiffel Tower, as a popular destination and France’s most famous monument, should have special protections in place, AFP reports.

As well as to protect against gunfire, the new barriers are also designed to prevent attackers from storming the site in vehicles. Last year, a lorry driver struck a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the southern city of Nice, killing 86 people.

According to AFP, a string of attacks by jihadists in various parts of France have left 238 people dead over the past two years, with many of the incidents occurring in densely populated places such as houses of worship, transport hubs and tourist destinations.

Paris was on high alert last week after a 29-year-old Egyptian attacked a soldier with a machete outside the Louvre Museum, an incident that officials believe was likely a terrorist attack.


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