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23 Aug 2004 17:07
Experts say the future of the Leaning Tower of Pisa has been guaranteed for the next 300 years.
Speaking two years after the completion of renovation works aimed at straightening up the 800-year-old landmark, Professor Carlo Viggiani of Naples University has told reporters “the tower is definitely safe”.
“The worst that could happen is that it may find itself in 300 years’ time in the same situation as we found it,” media reports on Monday quoted Professor Viggiani as saying.
According to Professor Michele Jamiolkowski, the engineer in charge of the tower’s restoration project, the Pisa tower has been “virtually motionless” since September 2003.
The Pisa tower underwent nearly 12 years of renovation works by experts seeking to prevent it from tipping over for good.
The famous bell tower was closed to the public in 1990 after experts noticed that its inclination had increased at a rate of 1mm a year.
During the most recent phase, costing €28-million euros (about R226-million), experts secured the tower with giant steel braces while they consolidated its foundation and reduced its tilt.—Sapa-DPA
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