Leaning Tower of Pisa\’s saviours predict 300 years’ stability

Posted on October 25, 2008 

Leaning Tower of Pisa\’s saviors predict 300 years’ stability

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It is a national icon, one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions – and an appalling advertisement for Italian builders. But now, 18 years after it was closed to the public for fears that it might topple over, the Leaning Tower of Pisa has been stabilised and has been declared safe for at least another three centuries.

“All of our best expectations have been confirmed,” said Michele Jamiolkowski, emeritus professor of geotechnical engineering at Turin Polytechnic, who led the project to safeguard the tower. “Now we can say that the tower can rest easy for at least 300 years.”

If Professor Jamiolkowski is right – and William Hill yesterday was giving odds of 4-6 that he is – the Committee to Safeguard the Tower of Pisa will have succeeded where many others have failed. Its medieval architects had got only as far as the third floor when the structure, built on unstable clay, began to lean in 1178. Benito Mussolini ordered it to be returned to a vertical position in the 1930s, with concrete poured into its foundations, but the result was that the tower sank further.

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