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Rome's Spanish Steps reopens

AAP logoAAP 22/09/2016 Annette Reuther

Rome's Spanish Steps have reopened following a restoration project to protect the famous landmark from vandals.

Increased surveillance should prevent further damage to the steps, Rome's Mayor Virginia Raggi said at the reopening on Thursday following almost a year of restoration works.

The steps will remain open at night, despite calls for their closure after dark from the luxury brand Bulgari, which paid 1.5 million euros ($A2.2 million dollars) for the restoration.

The steps, designed by architect Francesco De Sanctis in the 18th century, are among one of the most popular attractions in the Italian capital.

Dutch hooligans caused serious damage to the fountain that stands at the foot of the steps, the Fontana della Barcaccia by Pietro Bernini, 18 months ago.

Many locals also complain of scam artists frequenting the tourist trap and people camping out on the steps.

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