Amazon Contextual Product Ads

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Solving the 800-year mystery of Pisa's Leaning Tower


Professor John Burland has spent the last two decades striving to save - and understand - the Leaning Tower of Pisa. After defying gravity, Italian bureaucracy and accusations of corruption, it seems he's finally cracked the case. All six donkeys were impeccably behaved. They'd been ridden into Pisa's main square, the Piazza dei Miracoli, last November by vexed vets from Pisa University and ceremoniously set down beneath its Leaning Tower. In protest at government cuts across Italian education, the profs duly gave an al fresco lecture on donkey anatomy to hundreds of bewildered tourists. Silvio Berlusconi's photo appeared on many a banner, beside the words 'The biggest ass of all'. Such a display of faculty dissent would have been impossible a decade ago, when the area of piazza around the tower was completely cordoned off. It looked then more building site than World Heritage site and the howls of protest from local Pisans were far louder than a few braying donkeys. From 1990 to 2001, the tower remained closed - many doubting it would ever reopen - as the International Committee for the Safeguard of the Leaning Tower strove to save it from collapse. Visitors to Pisa dropped off by 45 per cent. 'The street vendors were furious about lost trade and demanded the tower be reopened,' says John Burland, the only Brit on the 14-man committee. 'But it was close to toppling over. Without our intervention, any local storm or earth tremor could have finished it off.' Burland, 72, is emeritus professor of soil engineering at Imperial College London, his reverend-like humility belying the fact that he helped solve one of the most fascinating riddles in architectural history.


  1. You would like "heart", (= genuine grit), and "spirit".

    Also visit my homepage :: adjustable dumbbell sets

  2. Foods high in fiber will enable to decrease your blood cholesterol, decreasing
    your threat for many diseases together with cardiovascular disease.

    Here is my web blog:

  3. Both equally of such fitness centers will do an extremely good career to suit your needs in case you use them often and the right way.

    Take a look at my homepage ...

  4. Their Bowflex Vintage Strappless Monitor is rather user pleasant
    and elegant look at variety observe.

    Also visit my homepage -

  5. Most classic dumbbells were being made to generally be lifted with one hand which would figure out one particular or both sides within your
    overall body, relying on which aspect you decide on.

    my weblog ... mouse click the following internet site

  6. One myth that we are gonna bust right now is that weight teaching does not mean you should go out and join a gym simply because lets face it,
    memberships are expensive and a few of us just really don't hold the time.

    Here is my site:

  7. By far the top place to receive a applied treadmill is from somebody that acquired it new
    and after that just did not hassle to work with it.

    my weblog: bowflex selecttech 552