The Tower of Pisa slipped another wee bit last year, but the number of tourists coming to see it slipped a whole lot more.
The tower leaned .08 inches more during 1990, about in line with the average annual increase in tilt over the past three years, Ranieri Faverilli, president of the conservation society in Pisa, said Tuesday.While the steady fall of the tower remained slight, the drop in tourism was dramatic. Without giving precise figures, Faverilli said the number of visitors to the tower, which was closed to visitors, plunged by 25 percent.
The government, fearing a collapse, followed the advice of scientists from the Public Works Ministry and ordered the tower closed last year for reasons of public safety. Other scientists gave the tower another century before it falls.
Parliament passed a law in November allocating nearly $100 million to restore the tower. A world committee of experts was given a year to design a plan to restore the tower and stop the increasing tilt.
The 180-foot tower, Pisa's main tourist attraction, was begun in 1173 by architect Bonanno Pisano and finished between 1360 and 1370 by Tommaso D'Andrea. It began to tilt almost immediately because the ground shifted underneath it. It now leans about 13 feet off the perpendicular.