The memorial fountain to the late Princess Diana reopens to the public on Friday almost a month after it was shut when three people were hurt paddling.
The 3.6 million pound ring-shaped water sculpture was originally opened by Queen Elizabeth on July 6, ending years of bureaucratic squabbling about what shape a memorial to Diana, killed in a Paris car crash in 1997, should take.
But a week after the ceremony, a blocked pump halted the water flow and it was closed for repairs.
Days later, three people -- including a child -- were hospitalized after slipping in the streams that flow along the fountain’s 210-meter-long trough.
The government’s Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell blamed the public for the problems, accusing people of being irresponsible for throwing garbage into the water and allowing dogs to paddle in the fountain.
The Royal Parks, which oversees the memorial in London’s Hyde Park, said there would be extra staff on hand at the site after Friday’s reopening and the numbers visiting the memorial would be controlled.
In addition the public will only be allowed to put their hands and feet in the water.
“The key issue we faced was the sheer number of visitors,” said Greg McErlean, head of Major Projects for The Royal Parks.
“Two weeks ago we called in designers, engineers and health and safety experts. These discussions led everyone to conclude that we had to manage people’s interaction with the memorial so that people would sit on the side and dabble their hands and feet but not walk, or in some cases run, around in it.”
Jowell said she was pleased with the changes.
“It has attracted thousands of visitors from around the globe, and while I am delighted with this extraordinary popularity, I also believe that it is at the root of the memorial’s recent teething problems,” she said.
After its closure Diana’s brother Charles Spencer said there needed to be a balance between making the fountain accessible to the public and ensuring it got the respect it deserved.
However some critics have condemned the fountain as being a waste of money which looks like a “waterslide” or a “puddle.”