Leaning Tower of Pisa Is 'Very Slowly Reducing Its Lean'; Here's Why the Italian Landmark Wasn't Stable
Leaning Tower of Pisa (Photo Credits: Unsplash)

If posing like 'kicking the Leaning Tower of Pisa' for a photo was in your bucket list of things, then you may be disappointed. The Italian landmark has been straightened to increase its age. According to experts who monitor the tower's surveillance group, the monument was "stable and very slowly reducing its lean" in the past 17 years.

Itlanian media reports stated that the 57-metre (186ft) construction was straightened by 4cm (1.5 inches), according to engineering professor Nunziante Squeglia of Pisa University. The surveillance group was set up after Michele Jamiolkowski an engineer of Polish origin who adopted Italian nationality, oversaw an international committee between 1993 and 2001 to save the landmark. UK's First Upside-Down House in Bournemouth Has Opened Its Doors to Public, See Pics.

Following an increase in its lean, the landmark tower was closed to the public in January 1990 for safety reasons. Thereafter, 11 years the building was shut for visitors. Its tilt had reached 4.5 metres. Since then, the monument has been straightened by more than 40cm (15.7 inches).

Nunziante Squeglia, a geotechnics professor at the University of Pisa who works with the group was quoted as saying, "Since restorative work began, the tower is leaning about half a degree less. But what counts is the stability of the tower, which is better than initially predicted." The bell tower has 269 steps to reach its top and is located behind Pisa's cathedral. More than five million people visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa every year.

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The tower stood leaning to one side ever since its beginning in 1173, however, is considered a symbol of medieval Pisa's power. It leans to one side due to the porous clay on which it is situated. After construction of three floors, its construction was stopped and resumed only 90 years later. Rest of the floors were then constructed in a diagonal fashion to deal with the lean. However, the work stopped and was later completed in 1372.