At midnight on Saturday 27 May the Doges clock tower in Venice which stands next to the Basilica S. Marco and across the square from the bell tower will be re-opened following a complete restoration lasting on and off since 1997.
At the top of the tower designed by Mauro Codussi and in begun in 1496 is a bronze bell and the figures of two moors who strike the bell on the hour. The front of the tower is decorated in coloured enamel with the golden lion of St Mark standing in front of a blue and gold starry sky. Further down is a statue of the Madonna, with moving figures of the three kings and an angel which pass in front of the Madonna every hour during Ascension week and Epiphany. There is also a large circular clock with the signs of the zodiac, the days and the months.
The moors, the bell and the clock were originally built by two brothers called Ranieri who were highly paid by the Doge for their ability but subsequently had their eyes removed to prevent them from ever building anything as wonderful again.