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