London's famous Tower Bridge is getting a 4 million pound (euro5 million; US$8 million) facelift over the next four years.

The British landmark will be stripped of its paint and repainted in traditional blue and white as part of plans announced Monday.

Work on the improvements are due to start in June or July, with the bridge remaining open until at least the winter of 2010.

The work will be funded by The City Bridge Trust charity.

The bridge beside Tower Hill has become one of London's most recognizable sites since the future king Edward VII opened it in 1894.

It is the only raising bridge in London and its middle sections are opened 1,000 times a year to allow ships to pass.