Rome's Spanish Steps are set to reopen after a year-long renovation which aims to return the famous Italian landmark to its original splendor.
However, one of the main contributors for the $1.7 million project is asking officials to keep "barbarians" from getting too close to the iconic tourist state.
The stairway was built in 1725 and immortalized by Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in the 'Roman Holiday" film.
Millions of people have visited the place and sat on the steps to eat, drink and smoke while canoodling and enjoying the view of Italian capital's most exclusive fashion street, Via Condotti. These greatly affected the once shiny marble present in the tourist site.
Paolo Bulgari, chairman of the luxury jewelry house and nephew of its founder, is eager to ensure that the steps would not be filled with filth again.
In an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica, he said, "Restorers have done a great and difficult job. The steps were coated with anything from coffee, wine, chewing gum,"
"But now I am worried. If we don't set strict rules, the steps will go back to being used as a camping site for barbarians," the billionaire said, adding that a gate or a Plexiglas barrier "doesn't seem like an impossible task."
Bulgari's statement matters because his company paid for the refurbishment as part of a government tax break plan. He also requested putting up a fence to prevent people from hanging around the tourist spot at night.
The temporary fence would be removed before the official reopening on Thursday. As to whether a permanent barrier will be placed, Italy's Culture Ministry refused to comment about it, but assures that it will be answered at this week's event.
Tourists who visited the site said that they completely understood Bulgari's sentiments but disagreed with his solution.
"They should just add more guards and signs telling people it's prohibited to drink and eat on the steps," Lynn Godfrey told NBC News.
The Spanish Steps are the most recent restoration of Rome's monuments and landmarks funded by Italy's famous fashion houses in exchange for tax breaks.
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