Source: The Mercury, 24 May, 1999, p.13


New slant on old landmark's story


Pisa, Italy 
 
THE Leaning Tower of Pisa is leaning 
a little less thanks to an experiment 
aimed at making the monument settle 
better into the ground. 
 
In February, workers started remov- 
ing soil from under the tower's base. 
The digging was carried out through 12 
tubes inserted 6m into the ground. 
 
Going into the experiment, the 12th- 
century tower leaned some six degrees 
-4m-off the perpendicular. 
 
Experts yesterday reported that the 
tower had since straightened by 5mm. 
 
"The results of the experimental 
excavation are superior to the expec- 
tations," said Michele Jamiolkowski 
who heads a committee which has 
monitored measures aimed at keeping 
the tower from toppling over. 
 
Before the digging began, two sets of 
steel "suspenders" anchored to giant 
winches dug into the ground about 
100m from the tower were attached to 
the monument. Should the excavation 
threaten to make the structure wobbly, 
the suspenders would be pulled tight. 
 
AP


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