Nine bronze statues, depicting nymphs, fauns and satyrs, were removed with a crane and taken to a workshop in via Livorno, where they will be restored by Ires e Nicola Salvioli Restauri. Work on the fountain began in February 2017, using funds donated by the Salvatore Ferragamo fashion house, which is providing 1.5 million euro throughout the project. The bronze statues will be restored not only on the outside but on the inside as well, which has deteriorated substantially due to water and atmospheric agents.
In 1559, Cosimo I de’ Medici held a competition for the creation of the city’s first public fountain, with Bartolomeo Ammannati and his Neptune design eventually taking the prize, judged the best for its clear exaltation of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany’s glorious seafaring achievements. The sculpture was completed in 1565 and inaugurated for the wedding of Francesco I de’ Medici and the Grand Duchess Giovanna d’Austria on December 10 of that year. Close observers might notice that Ammannati used Cosimo I’s features to depict the strapping Neptune rising above the other figures.