September 4, 2011. (Romereports.com)
After months of repair work, the initial part of the facelift to St.
Peter's Colonnade has been revealed. The work which began in 2009 will
cover every section of the colonnade and is scheduled to be completed
between 2013 and 2015.
During the beatification of John Paul II, the colonnade was previously covered by a large image of the Virgin Mary and was recently taken down to show the cleaning and repairs done to the columns.
The 284 columns were part of Bernini's grand design for St. Peter's Square. Originally, there were also proposals of a colonnade with a very small entrance as well as another that would have created two breaks in the colonnade to allow visitors to pass through.
The restoration work now reopens the colonnade on the left side of the square called Charlemagne. This, along with the other, Constantine, link to meet at St. Peter's Basilica.