Pisa Online - tour della magnifica cittą della Torre Pendente Rassegna stampa sui lavori alla Torre di Pisa dal 1995 ad oggi
News about the Leaning Tower of Pisa since 1995

 

Tower of Discord

PISA, Italy - Work began this summer on a new scheme to reduce the inclination of Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa, probably the world's only architectural masterpiece famed for a construction defect. The 8 storey, 56-metre high white marble tower, which was built between 1173 and 1350, began to lean when its foundation shifted during construction of the third storey, but the builders pressed on regardless. Its overhang was used by Galileo, who dropped metal balls from the top storey to prove the theory of gravity. The tower, which today leans about 5 metres out of true, was closed to tourists in 1990 because of fears that it might topple.

Remedies for the Tower's plight have been proposed for centuries. Some of them come from the wilder reaches of the imagination. One proposal advocated attaching a helium balloon to the top of the tower; another favored reshaping the surrounding meadow so that it would slope in the same direction as the tower leans and make it look upright.

The latest project seeks to raise the tower by half a degree or 40 cm. Soil will be extracted from beneath the high Northern side of the foundations, thereby, says Professor Burland, a member of the Pisa commission which is in charge of the restoration, "reducing the inclination in a gentle and controlled manner by an amount that is imperceptible to the eye." Temporary steel cables are being used to hold the tower "in the very unlikely event of unforeseen detrimental movements."

Like other schemes before it, the current engineering operation has aroused vociferous criticism, causing the monument to be dubbed the "Tower of Discord" in the Italian press. An organization called ArtWatch International, which monitors art restoration projects, says that repair work has made the structure more stable than before. Professor Piero Pierotti, a Pisan art historian who has published a book entitled Una Torre Non Salvare ("How not to save the Tower of Pisa"), was quoted as saying that this work of "soaring imagination and symbolic beauty is also "unquestionably a phallic symbol" and that "perhaps the attempt to pull it erect is another aspect of the age of Viagra."

 

Pisa Online - tour della magnifica cittą della Torre Pendente Rassegna stampa sui lavori alla Torre di Pisa dal 1995 ad oggi
News about the Leaning Tower of Pisa since 1995

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