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The Italian garden at Blenheim before the first war.
All that Glisters....Is Gold!
This spectacular restoration of the Mermaid Fountain at Blenheim Palace uses 8750 leaves of real gold to bring back its stunning golden hue.
The ornate gilded bronze fountain has been returned to its original glory more than a century after its original installation.
The Mermaid Fountain is the centrepiece of the formal Italian Garden at Blenheim Palace.
Sculpted by renowned British/American artist Thomas Waldo Story it was installed at the Oxfordshire World Heritage Site by the 9th Duke of Marlborough in 1912.
However over the decades the fountain became covered with a thick layer of limescale and algae and restorers used 350 books of almost pure 23 ¾ carat triple layer Old English gold to bring it back to life.
The work is part of a £40 million rolling programme of conservation being carried out at the UNESCO World Heritage Site which was the birthplace of Winston Churchill.