Speed Reads

on the subject of walls

France is building a wall around the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is going behind a wall. The French government has decided to construct a more than eight-foot-tall bulletproof glass barricade around the base of the structure to protect it in the event of a terror attack, USA Today reports.

"The terror threat remains high in Paris and the most vulnerable sites, led by the Eiffel Tower, must be the object of special security measures," said Paris' Deputy Mayor Jean-Francois Martins.

The construction is expected to cost $20 million. Current security at the base of the Eiffel Tower includes metal grids that were erected for the Euro 2016 soccer tournaments but left up due to continued concerns about terrorism.

Critics have slammed the decision to erect a permanent barricade, claiming that the potential eyesore could threaten French tourism, which has struggled since the 2015 attacks that killed more than 200 people. "It's pure madness!" said retired electrical engineer Bernard Thiebaut. "It's not just a physical barrier, it's also a philosophical and a psychological barrier." He added: "When the Berlin Wall fell down, we said, 'Never again.' Now all the countries in the world are building walls. It's changing the way we live."

"I don't think it would look that nice," said one Canadian tourist to recently visit the structure. "It won't make the Eiffel Tower seem as special or as unique if they are trying to keep everybody out."