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Straightening out the Leaning Tower

May 28, 2008

A story on BBC World News America this morning out of Rome caught my attention.

Apparently, the effort of engineers to stabilize the Leaning Tower of Piza, built in stages between 1174 and 1370, has worked and the tower is said to be structurally sound for the next 300 years.

I’m of two minds on this:

The first is that the Leaning Tower of Piza is so special because it’s LEANING and so any attempts to straighten the tower would really jeopardize what makes this structure one of the most unique buildings on Earth. If the Leaning Tower of Piza isn’t leaning, it’s just the Tower of Piza and while it’s certainly a beautiful building, it ceases to be one of the world’s foremost landmarks.

My second thought on this is the rational one, geared toward the safety of the people of Rome and the millions of visitors who flock to this site annually. The last thing you’d want would be for this nearly 1,000-year-old building to collapse and kill people, not to mention that the world would lose, as I referenced before, one of its foremost landmarks.

I never thought I’d have a moral conflict about the Leaning Tower of Piza.

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