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Nelson is once again squeaky clean

Restoration of Nelson column in London's Trafalgar Square was completed today following a £470,000 programme of repair and cleaning work over the last two months.

The massive 55m high scaffolding around the monument - now a tourist attraction in its own right - will be removed over the next two weeks in advance of the Big Dance festival, which takes place over the weekend 22-23 July.

This latest restoration is only the third time that the column has been repaired since it was erected in 1843. Major works this time included the removal of 100 year old bronze repairs to Nelson's armand the replacement of past motar repairs with the Craigleith sandstone to match the original.

Repairs were guided by the results of a thorough radar inspection of the monument by materials specialist Sandberg. The restoration was carried out by David Ball Restoration and funded by insurance firm Zurich.

Othewr work carried out included:

- Cleaning the statue of Nelson, the column and the base to remove bird droppings, algae and grime.

- Cleaning and treatment of the monument's bronze work,

- Repointing and stone repairs to the column, and pigeon proofing of minor areas.