I was delighted to see this bit of outstanding news this morning. Leaning Tower of Pisa is Saved from Collapse. Good show, people.
"The tower, which was on the verge of collapse, has been straightened by
18 inches (45 centimetres) returning it to its 1838 position."
Setting the clock back 170 years. Not bad. Imagine being in charge of this project, eh?
"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
‘As an engineer, I felt confident that
we could meet the challenge, but there were times when I really felt we
were about to lose it,’ Prof Burland admitted."
I’ll bet that was tough to live through. With something that massive and heavy (it is: I was amazed how big it is in real life) it’s not like you can do anything about anything real easy or fast. Screw up big enough and you’ll set physics in motion that you just won’t be able to do anything about.
It’s just nearly a year since Bea & I visited Pisa on one very hot and bright afternoon on our way driving to Florence from a few days in Montorosso of the Cinque Terre. Other than the massiveness of it, I was impressed with the marble and limestone construction. Beautiful, and it’s not something you might have ever taken notice of, as photos are typically set at a distance, so it often looks just like white concrete. It’s not. Take a look at my photos, below. You should be able to click on them for larger, higher resolution versions.