Europe

Italy reopens Spanish Steps after controversy over fence

  • Chairs are set up to host a concert in front of the world-famous Spanish Steps before the start of a press conference to present the reopening of the site at the end of a 10-month restoration, in which Bulgari jewelry house participated, in Rome, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. The Spanish Steps will open again to the public on Friday. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    Chairs are set up to host a concert in front of the world-famous Spanish Steps before the start of a press conference to present the reopening of the site at the end of a 10-month restoration, in which Bulgari jewelry house participated, in Rome, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. The Spanish Steps will open again to the public on Friday. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)  (The Associated Press)

  • Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari jewelry house poses in front of the world-famous Spanish Steps ahead of a press conference to present the reopening of the site at the end of a 10-month restoration in which Bulgari jewelry house participated, in Rome, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. The Spanish Steps will open again to the public on Friday. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari jewelry house poses in front of the world-famous Spanish Steps ahead of a press conference to present the reopening of the site at the end of a 10-month restoration in which Bulgari jewelry house participated, in Rome, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. The Spanish Steps will open again to the public on Friday. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)  (The Associated Press)

  • From left; Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi, left, Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari jewelry house, and Nicola Bulgari, great-grandson of the Bulgari founder, pose for photographers at the world-famous Spanish Steps ahead of a press conference to present the reopening of the site at the end of a 10-month restoration in which Bulgari jewelry house participated, in Rome, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. The Spanish Steps will open again to the public on Friday. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    From left; Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi, left, Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari jewelry house, and Nicola Bulgari, great-grandson of the Bulgari founder, pose for photographers at the world-famous Spanish Steps ahead of a press conference to present the reopening of the site at the end of a 10-month restoration in which Bulgari jewelry house participated, in Rome, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. The Spanish Steps will open again to the public on Friday. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)  (The Associated Press)

Rome's iconic Spanish Steps have officially reopened to the public after a cleaning and repair job financed by luxury jeweler Bulgari.

The reopening had been beset by controversy over Bulgari's insistence that the city better protect the newly pristine monument from drunks, tourists and others by fencing off the staircase at night.

But Mayor Virginia Raggi said Thursday she didn't think a fence was needed.

Raggi says it is "fundamental to let people use cultural heritage sites" but responsibly. She says the city would make sure the steps aren't abused.

Bulgari's flagship store is on the glitzy street that leads to the Piazza di Spagna. In proposing the fence, the company cited damage to the steps and the piazza's fountain by visiting soccer hooligans.