Venice Bridge of Sighs before restoration began, scroll to see the bridge during the project (Paige_Eliz)
Venice Bridge of Sighs before restoration began, scroll to see the bridge during the project (Paige_Eliz)
The buildings on either side of the bridge were covered with advertising during the three-year project (Susan Poupard)
The buildings on either side of the bridge were covered with advertising during the three-year project (Susan Poupard)

Venice Bridge of Sighs unveiled after restoration

2nd December 2011

After a three year restoration project the Venice Bridge of Sighs has been returned to its former glory, and is finally free of scaffolding and advertising

The Venice Bridge of Sighs was unveiled this week, following a three year, €2.8 million restoration project to return the iconic bridge to its former beauty. The project removed ugly black crust and rust that had developed on the bridge and its surrounding limestone walls over the decades, and reinforced its fragile structure.

Venice attracts more than 12 million visitors every year, many of whom come to see this iconic bridge. Unfortunately for the past few years however, it has been a less than pleasant sight to see. The restoration project was privately funded, and its developers covered the scaffolding with crude advertising billboards that detracted from the bridge's original beauty. The city's Mayor Giorgio Orzoni expressed his delight at the bridge's unveiling, and said people would again be able to view the landmark how it was intended.

The 400-year old bridge was originally built to connect the old prison to the interrogation rooms of the Doge's Palace. It is said that the bridge was named after the prisoners who would let out a mournful sigh at seeing the beautiful city of Venice for perhaps the last time while passing over it.

Work began on the structure, for the first time in a century, after a piece of the marble became dislodged, narrowly missing a tourist who was passing underneath it.

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