Mon, September 01, 2008
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Battle of the leaning towers

2008-09-01 08:54:37 GMT2008-09-01 16:54:37 (Beijing Time) Reuters

The Netherlands town of Bedum's claim to fame may be gaining ground with a Dutch expert's theory that the tower of the church of Walfridus out-leans Italy's Pisa rival.

Bedum's tower is just over 35 metres high and leans 2.61 metres.

Pisa's tower is 20 metres taller and leans about four metres.

Retired geometrician Jacob Van Dijk says if both towers were the same size the Netherlands structure would have the relatively greater incline.

SOUNDBITE: Jacob Van Dijk saying (Dutch):

"In 1993 the restoration of Pisa's tower foundations began. It took 15 years to complete and cost 28 million euros. In Italy they're happy with the result but we're even happier because Pisa now leans less than the tower of Bedum."

Italy's landmark tower of Pisa lost some 45 centimetres of its tilt because of the restoration work.

Repeated efforts to halt Pisa's alarming lurch - sometimes up to a millimetre a week - appear to have saved it from total collapse but may have cost its record as Europe's most-leaning tower.

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