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ROME – 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.