Asinelli and Garisenda Towers in Bologan. Image by diana.grytsku on Freepik

€20million and 10 years to save Garisenda Tower in Bologna

By Region Culture News North-east Italy

Work to prevent the collapse of the leaning Garisenda tower, a medieval landmark in Bologna, is anticipated to cost of €20 million. The project would also take at least 10 years according to Bologna’s mayor.

According to the city’s mayor, Matteo Lepore, the leaning tower in Bologna is a project akin to that of the leaning tower of Pisa. He anticipates a cost of €20million and around ten years to rectify the tower’s lean.

“I think we will spend no less than €20million, maybe more” to consolidate the tower, mayor Matteo Lepore was quoted by the ANSA at a press conference. “For the tower of Pisa, it took 10 years for the intervention and the [restoration] project. We have no reason to say it will take us less,” he said.

Last week, a €4.3 million project was unveiled to stabilise the tower, which, like the renowned Tower of Pisa, has leaned for centuries due to ground subsidence. The Garisenda, standing at a 4-degree incline -slightly greater than Pisa’s 3.9º lean, is a cherished symbol in literature. It features in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy and Le Rime, as well as in Charles Dickens’ Pictures from Italy and Goethe’s Italian Journey.

With concerns about the risk of the tower’s collapse, the area surrounding the building was cordoned off last month.

Appeal for UNESCO World Heritage Status

The preliminary efforts for the Garisenda Tower involve creating a containment area to avert potential damage to nearby structures and protect passersby from any potential collapse. Surveillance measures, including video cameras, will be implemented to monitor the site. Mayor Lepore has also requested the government to seek UNESCO World Heritage status for the towers.

The Garisenda and Asinelli towers, named after rival families, stand at the former entrance to the city, representing a historical competition for power and wealth. The Garisenda, initially 60 meters tall, had to be reduced in height after experiencing leaning issues.

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