The court said there had been errors in its design, as well as a huge cost over-run – the bridge was meant to have cost €7 million but ended up costing €11.6 million.

The audit court said Mr Calatrava was guilty of “negligence” for the design and construction of the 300ft-long Ponte della Costituzione, or Constitution Bridge.

Judges said the steel tubes in the bridge were too small and some of the glass stairs, which were supposed to last at least 20 years, had already had to be replaced.