ROME , June 9 (UPI) -- Restoration work on the Trevi Fountain, one of Rome's signature tourist attractions, has begun and will continue for about 18 months.
The baroque fountain, built between 1730 and 1762, will undergo a complete restoration that will include the draining of water where tourists traditionally toss coins for luck. It was refurbished in 1998, but is part of a current renewal campaign to completely restore some of Rome's public architectural antiquities.
A metal fence now surrounds the fountain, and tourists can watch the restoration in progress. A walkway above the central part of the fountain, which is 86 feet wide and 161 feet long, will also be available to visitors.
The restoration is being underwritten by the Italian luxury fashion company Fendi in a manner similar to the jeweler Bulgari's financing of the renovation of Rome's Spanish Steps, as well as the renewal of the Colosseum, paid for by shoe entrepreneur Diego Della Valle of Tod's Group.