With French citizens on edge after recent terrorist attacks, such as the attack on Nice, France on July 14 of 2016, officials have deployed a number of operations and projects to protect their homes. With more recent attacks taking place, including one on the Louvre Museum, Paris leaders have been pushing projects to protect the citizens of Paris. One of them includes renovating the Eiffel Tower. This project is said to improve the tower’s aesthetics and security of the individuals on or around the tower. The terrorism that has plagued France is likely the catalyst for these projects.
The French military had deployed a project called Opération Sentinelle in 2015. This operation sent French soldiers to protect France’s most visited areas. Although they have been protecting valued sites, many attacks still happen in neighboring areas. Now French officials are pushing to protect their citizens.
The most recent attack, according to CNN, was the attack on the Louvre Museum, the museum holding the Mona Lisa. The assault happened on February 3, and was recorded by many of the 200+ visitors at the time. During and after the attack, the visitors were evacuated and held in small groups for check-out after the threat ended. The individual that committed the crime held a machete and shouted, “Allahu akbar” while charging at soldiers and guards. The Arabic phrase translates to “God is Greatest.” In response, a soldier shot him five times.
The man was found wearing two backpacks, though he held no other weapons, nor explosives. With a bullet in his stomach, the man was rushed to treatment after being taken into custody. Authorities described him as a 29-year-old Egyptian resident of the United Arab Emirates. They have found that the man arrived in Paris on January 26.
Lately, government officials have been posting their thoughts and ideas on Twitter. President of France, Francois Hollande, praised the response to the attack, saying,” I salute the courage and determination showed by the military this morning at the Carrousel de Louvre.” Minister Bruno Le Roux even hailed the military for their calm and professional subduing of the criminal. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said, “In this context of terrorists’ threat that concerns every big city in the world, we saw how efficient and relevant Paris security features were.”
Even Trump tweeted on the issue, saying, “A new radical Islamic terrorist has just attacked in Louvre Museum in Paris. Tourist were locked down. France on edge again. GET SMART U.S.” Trump’s tweet about this attack in France, and silence on the mosque attack in Quebec City, raised ideas in the minds of those who read the tweet.
As for the Eiffel refurbishment project, it will cost some €300 million ($317 million) total, or €20 million ($21 million) per year. This refurbishment will add new reception areas and allow for better crowd management, among other aesthetic updates. The most interesting addition will be the 8-foot tall, bulletproof glass wall that will encase the Eiffel Tower. It is scheduled for completion by fall of this year.
City hall stated that this will give it “aesthetics, access, and security.” This wall will replace the steel railings currently around the tower, and should prevent the storming of the landmark by individuals or vehicles. Deputy Mayor of Paris Jean-Francois Martins also noted that tourists will still be able to visit the tower’s base for free. They will only need to go through security checks.