Italy’s famed Leaning Tower of Pisa gets a 300-year lease on life

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, perhaps Italy’s most photographed tourist attraction, is structurally sound now and will remain upright for another 300 years.

That is the conclusion of an architect and geologist assessing the more than 700-year-old bell tower, who tells Italy’s leading newspaper that a massive rescue project that ended in 2001 was successful.

The tower was closed to visitors for almost all of the 1990s, when work began on a project to anchor down the tower and reinforce the ground on which it stands; the tower leans because it sinks in small increments every year. The tower has a height of nearly 185 feet.

The engineering project of the 1990s adjusted the tower’s lean by 1 1/2 feet, according to Reuters. Now the tower leans about 13 feet off the vertical, which is about where it was back in 1700.

Now, work is set to begin to slowly sandblast and clean the tower’s marble.

The tower was built between 1174 and 1370.


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