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I am renting an apartment in Milan, Italy, and my room has an attached terrace with it. The terrace has these blinds, which have not been opened for centuries (so they may be stuck) and they have accumulated a lot of dust and grime.

These blinds are very typical in Milan, I've seen them in nearly every apartment complex I've been to.

This is the blinds in a closed state The blinds in a closed state

On both sides it has two plastic cords, which are anchored to the floor. This is the left anchor

Left anchor

The lower one is the right anchor, top one belongs to another one of these blinds.

Lower one is the right anchor, top one belongs to another blind

There are also the two accompanying cords which I am accustomed to seeing with blinds.

enter image description here

I cannot get them to open. Can someone please tell me what are these blinds called? And how may I even begin to open them up? Is there supposed to be some sort of locking mechanism somewhere?

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    The blinds in your picture look more like they are all pulled up to the top which would seem more as "open" instead of "closed" as you stated. – Michael Karas Apr 22 '19 at 10:53
  • I highly doubt the blinds have been there for even one century, let alone multiple. – TylerH Apr 22 '19 at 17:55
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This blinds are called "Venetian blinds. If the blinds are very long they have guide cords at both ends. This is the case in your situation.

From the first picture you can see two sets of cords comming out of the frame.

The most left set of cords are used for tilting the blinds when they are down. There is a rotating mechanism inside the frame that can make the individual elements tilt in the direction required to block the sun.

The other set of cords is used to lower or pull up the complete set of elements. If still working you can unlock the mechanism by pulling both cords to the right. Once free you can lower the elements by releasing the wires. Locking the elements at the required position works the same way as the release procedure. It depends on the make if you have to pull the cords in the same or in the opposite direction to lock the system.

  • You refer to the guide wires which are fixed but the you also refer to the operating cords also as wires. This is very confusing....suggest you edit to clarify as cords instead if wires. – Michael Karas Apr 22 '19 at 10:51
  • @MichaelKaras. I agree with you. Changed in the meanwhile – Decapod Apr 22 '19 at 21:23

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