Bologna's Leaning Tower of Garisenda Faces Sudden Collapse Threat, Requires €20 Million Rescue
The medieval Garisenda Tower in Bologna, Italy, lesser-known than its Pisan counterpart but equally inclined, is under scrutiny as authorities announce it is at a high risk of collapsing. The monument will be cordoned off with a safety zone, according to il Resto del Carlino.
Standing at 47 meters and tilting at four degrees, the 12th-century tower has shown a slight shift in recent years, as revealed by recent studies. Nuntiante Skeglia, who also oversaw the restoration of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, is part of the restoration expert commission.
"This looks like two different cases. It will be a good challenge," says Skeglia.
A scientific report indicates a high risk of "sudden and unexpected collapse," necessitating the construction of a 5-meter barrier around the tower to contain potential debris. Monitoring over the past month has detected an "unexpected and accelerated trend" of compression at the tower's base, with gradual deterioration of the stone used for cladding and expanding cracks in the brick above.
Ongoing reinforcement work has been halted, and the exclusion zone will be constructed "as quickly as possible."
"We need to anticipate it. The first containers, which will compose the anti-collapse belt (a total of 22 pieces) protecting the monument, arrived yesterday at dawn. The red barrier will be assembled by January, followed by the installation of a large metal frame, serving as a screen for restoration," stated Bologna Mayor Matteo Lepore.
Meanwhile, international interest is growing, along with fundraising efforts to save the historical landmark. Yesterday, €100,000 was received from French President Macron, who will also contribute funds from the sale of special T-shirts. The region's declared €5 million joined the already collected €1.5 million.
"The goal is to reach €20 million; when we know what the restoration will involve, then we will have a more precise estimate," added Mayor Lepore. Another Bologna tower, the Asinelli Tower, roughly twice the height of Garisenda with a lesser tilt, is usually open to tourists.