The Leaning Tower of Pisa is losing its tilt, says experts

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is no longer leaning as much as it was, according to a group of Italian engineering experts.

The tower, a tourism attraction in the pretty Tuscan city of Pisa, has straightened up 4cm over the past two decades, according to the tower’s surveillance group which has been monitoring the health of the 57-metre-tall monument for the past 17 years.

The surveillance group, set up by professor Michele Jamiolkowski, has been working to straighten the Leaning Tower’s tilt.

Nunziante Squeglia, a professor of geotechnics at the University of Pisa, was quoted in Italian media reports as saying the leaning tower was now stable.

Prior to restoration work between 1990 and 2001, the tower’s lean was 5.5 degrees, which has since been narrowed to 3.99 degrees.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a major international tourist attraction because of its quirky lopsided appearance. Construction on the tower began in 1173, and it began to tilt almost immediately because the ground it was built on was too soft.

Multiple efforts have been made over the years to straighten up the tower. In the 1920s, the foundations were injected with cement grouting with the intention of stabilising it, while in 1990, a decision was made to completely close the site to visitors when its tilt reached 4.5 metres.

It was the first time the tower had been closed in 800 years, but reopened again to visitors in 2001. More than one million visitors pay it a visit each year, typically to pose in front of it to give the appearance of holding it up.

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