Gearshift shutter / curtain / concertina R&R

this may have been covered before, but i've searched and searched....
i need to replace the dust cover / shutter under the auto gear lever on my UK model 1998 c250 tuirbodeisel auto.
i have the new part, and i've removed the gear knob and most of the trim to take me down to a substantial black cover over the gearshift mechanism.
however, it look like major surgery to remove this - 4(?) alan bolts then goodness-knows-what underneath.
does this whole thing need to come off in order to get in and replace the urtain - any special precautions to be aware of?
all help gratefully received!
TIA Paul
you can email me at paul dot green aatt totalise . co . uk (trying to beat the spambots)

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