It is a national icon, one of the worldâ€™s greatest tourist attractions â€“ and an appalling advertisement for Italian builders. But now, 18 years after it was closed to the public for fears that it might topple over, the Leaning Tower of Pisa has been stabilised and has been declared safe for at least another three centuries.
â€œAll of our best expectations have been confirmed,â€ said Michele Jamiolkowski, emeritus professor of geotechnical engineering at Turin Polytechnic, who led the project to safeguard the tower. â€œNow we can say that the tower can rest easy for at least 300 years.â€
The tilt has now returned to where it was in the early 19th century, with a lean out of true of 3.99 metres, and the tower is being cleaned by restorers using lightweight scaffolding.