One of Venice’s most famous attractions was unveiled Wednesday following a three year $3.74 million restoration. This marked the first time in a century that the 400 year-old Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) had undergone renovation.
The project attracted some controversy, as the scaffolding placed at the site had been covered with paid advertising. Venice’s mayor defended the practice, saying that it ensured that the work would be funded completely from private sources, with no public monies used.
The bridge, connecting the Doge’s Palace to a prison, was given its name by the 19th century poet Lord Byron. It came from the suggestion that as prisoners were led across it they would sigh as they glimpsed Venice, perhaps for the last time.
Library resources: Venice