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Last Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007, 18:45 GMT 19:45 UK
Monumental 4.5m facelift begins
The Monument
The Monument will be closed for repairs for 18 months
One of the City of London's most prominent landmarks has closed for a 4.5m restoration programme.

The Monument's stonework will be cleaned and repaired and the famous golden orb re-gilded during the work.

There are also plans for live views from the top of the tower to be relayed to visitors on the ground unable to climb the 311 steps to the top.

Every year more than 10,000 people visit Sir Christopher Wren's monument to the Great Fire of 1666.

Andrew Patterson, Project Manager, said: "The work will involve redoing all of The Monument from the very top to the very bottom."

The 18-month restoration project will include improvements to the observation "cage" and lighting.

The Monument, which stands at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill, was built to commemorate the Great Fire of London and to celebrate the rebuilding of the City.

The Monument
Designed by Sir Christopher Wren
Completed in 1677
It stands 202ft (61m) high and 202ft from the spot where the Great Fire started
10,000 people visit the site every year
There are 311 steps to observation gallery

The fire began in a baker's house in Pudding Lane on Sunday 2 September, 1666, and was finally extinguished after burning for five days and destroying most of the city.

Phillip Everett, from the City of London Corporation which is funding the renovation said: "Every 100 years or so, it always gets a facelift.

"That's been its history and it's about time it had another one."

The last work on it was completed in 1888.

Progress of the restoration can be followed on The Monument's website.

New square unveiled in the City
30 Jan 07 |  London
Restored naval hero is revealed
11 Jul 06 |  London


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