Easy . . . Easy . . . There!

by Jimmy Akin

in Curios & Humor


The Leaning Tower of Pisa has been straightened!

It’s true!

And not by the Evil Superman from Superman III!

Of course, they didn’t straighten it all the way, but they returned it to the angle it was leaning at in 1838.



[British rescue committee engineering] Prof Burland said it could have collapsed "at any moment". However, it took nine years of bureaucratic wrangling before any work was done. "That was the difficult bit, getting the work going," Prof Burland said.

Yeah, big surprise on that last part. Italy.

Oh, and the Italian estimate of when it would have collapsed differed:

"If we had not stepped in the tower would have collapsed between 2030 and 2040," said Salvatore Settis, the president of the committee. "This is crucial for the tower’s stability and it was a totally Italian success."

Uhh . . . except for that British guy who worked on the project.

Oh, and there was a particularly tense moment:

Before the digging started, the tower was anchored with steel cables and 600 tonnes of lead weights.

However, halfway through the project, concerns at the ugliness of the weights led to their removal and the tower lurched dramatically. "In one night, the tower moved more than it had averaged in an entire year," said Prof Burland. The weights were hastily reattached.

Good idea!



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Ann Margaret Lewis June 28, 2007 at 6:13 am

I went up in the tower in 1987 before they closed it. They had no safety rails and it was REALLLLY leaning.
Glad I got out of there with my life. And I’m glad they were able to save it.

Martin Tohill June 28, 2007 at 7:17 am

Pesky Brits have no appreciation for the value of art. Left to their own devices the Italians could have corrected the tower without all those ugly weights.

Ed Peters June 28, 2007 at 8:42 am

This all started with the mob murder of the Gracchi Brothers in 121 BC, but that would take more time to explain than I have.

Inocencio June 28, 2007 at 9:16 am

Ed Peters,
Your historical humor is hilarious!
Now if only you could except that Johnny Depp is not funny.
Take care and God bless,

Maureen June 28, 2007 at 9:23 am

Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi, said, “These are my lead weights”?
That’s plumb interesting!

Inocencio June 28, 2007 at 9:24 am

oops accept is what I meant. Need to slow down.
Take care and God bless,

Ed Peters June 28, 2007 at 10:28 am

If I weren’t trying to honor the “integrity of the thread” rubric, I’d avenge that gratuitous and vicious slur on Johnny “the Great” Depp. Grrrr.

Elijah June 28, 2007 at 11:19 am

Silly people finally gather the energy to fix the tower and it’s still not straight.

Brian Walden June 28, 2007 at 11:39 am

I wonder why no one has come up with the idea to purposely build a leaning tower just to make it a tourist attraction. I’m sure people would flock to the leaning tower of Omaha.

pseudomodo June 28, 2007 at 2:16 pm

I lean therefore I am…
Lawyer talk…
Is it not true that Johnny Depp is in fact not funny?

I am NOT amused June 28, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Johnny Depp mentioned in a thread about a ‘limp’ tower. How appropriate!

Anonymous June 28, 2007 at 2:37 pm

Actually the bell tower on the island of Burano near Venice also leans.

Philippus June 29, 2007 at 3:53 am

I’ve visted Pisa twice over the last 3 years, and whatever the bureaucratic delays, we should be grateful for its conservation, as the tower is a marvel. (Also, the Italians can be pretty unitalian when it comes to their cultural treasures; I think that in this case they were just very careful instead of very slow.)
But that being said, the church next to it (see the photo) is even more impressive. Much more. If you ever go to Pisa, buy a ticket for everything. You won’t regret it.
PS: The tower can’t be straightened, even if one would want to – which would mean loosing much of its appeal ofcourse. It began leaning before construction was finished, and later floors were build at an angle to ‘correct’ the leaning. Its actual shape is more like that of a banana.
PPS: a lot of Italian towers lean – construction (and especially foundation) wasn’t always up to standards in those days. Pisa’s tower is just the most famous.

barritts beer ginger August 11, 2007 at 6:23 pm

Not much on my mind worth mentioning. What can I say? My life’s been generally dull today. I’ve just been letting everything pass me by recently.

john October 9, 2007 at 5:31 am

The quality of education is, is not lower than 15 years ago

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