The Eiffel Tower has long been admired for its raw beauty and accessibility. But that's changing. Our Scott Thuman was in Paris recently to examine this new sign of the times, when it comes to security.
Few landmarks in the world are so instantly recognizable, that even just a photograph transports you to a place of romance, nostalgia, and European flair as the Eiffel tower. It has been described as useless yet irreplaceable. For more than 100 years, the French icon has instilled Parisians with pride and left tourists, overwhelmed.
Canadian woman: I have no words, it's just amazing. It's amazing. I am so excited to be here and when I saw the tower I was dragging my husband along the sidewalk, and he was trying to stop take pictures, and I wanted to get as close as I could.
Scott Thuman: As fast as you could?
Canadian woman: As fast as I could. Yes.
This Texas family knows their state boasts of big, but even Eiffel surprised them.
Texas daughter: It's a lot bigger than I thought you always just see the tiny little pictures, and I mean it's so amazing just to actually get to see it and a lot bigger.
But things may not look the same here at the Eiffel tower as during your last visit or photos you've seen. After a series of terror attacks these metal barricades went up and while many people hoped they'd be temporary, it turns out a much different, more permanent wall is on the way. The French are erecting 8 feet of full-time, bulletproof glass on the two most exposed sides and on others, an enhanced, more aesthetic version of fencing. All part of a 20 million Euro security upgrade.
Deputy Mayor Patrick Klugman: We want to remain Paris. Paris is about the beauty of the city, but we need to offer security. And I think we are doing it properly.
Deputy Mayor Patrick Klugman says after a series of recent, deadly terror attacks, the city was forced to rush installation of the current barriers.
Deputy Mayor Patrick Klugman: Was made in kind of a sudden emergency, was not very well organized, very beautiful. So now we are thinking about the situation. We think that this challenge of our security is going to last for a while, so we are like making an upgrade of the site.
Canadian man: Yeah I'd like to go see it and feel it and touch it like anything else and glass in front of it makes it just a little less touchable whatever.
Canadian woman: It doesn't have the egalitie, libertie, franternatie that Paris is built on. Texas Mom: You think when you go anywhere that's a national monument in any country. You think twice where you're walking into. that's unfortunate these days.
Texas Dad: When you walk up you're going to see the barrier and you're gonna know that barrier is for a reason. So what's that reason. It's a sign of the times.
Scott: And yes, the times have been changing outside the White House, added deterrents include fiercer fencing. At Rome's Coliseum, once perfect for camera-toting tourists, it's now flanked with heavy firepower. And British approach Big Ben only to see well-armed police protecting Parliament. And of course, prototypes for a wall along the Mexican border were on display earlier this month. Even though casual strolls under this symbolic steel are now a thing of the past too. The locals insist love, the Eiffel Tower, and Paris will always endure.
One footnote: the Eiffel Tower was never intended to be there this long. It was the centerpiece of the 1889 Worlds' Fair and was only supposed to stay up for 20 years.