Fears grow that Italy’s other leaning tower is about to collapse

Authorities have sealed off a leaning tower in Italy – and it is not in Pisa.

Officials warn that the state of the 12th-century Garisenda Tower in Bologna is “highly critical”.

Bologna City Council has warned residents and tourists that the tower is at serious risk of collapse.

The medieval tower in the northern Italian town tilts at a four-degree angle – similar to the tilt of the leaning tower in Pisa.

In response to the risk of potential falling debris, officials have started constructing a 5m (16ft) high barrier around the 47-metre-high (155ft) tower.

The barrier could cost the city up to €4.3m (£3.7m) and crowdfunding has already been launched to pay for the restoration.

The safety barrier is expected to be fully constructed by early next year.

Meanwhile, the tower and the plaza beneath it will remain closed to visitors for several years during extensive restoration.

The council said the work being started “represents the first phase of making it safe”.

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Metal rockfall nets will also be installed around the tower to protect the public.

The city’s mayor, Matteo Lepore, has asked the government to petition to make the towers UNESCO World Heritage sites as a way to help cover restoration costs.

The Garisenda Tower is one of two towers that dominate the Bologna skyline.

The second tower, the Asinelli Tower, is twice the height but does not have as extreme a tilt.

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The Asinelli remains open for tourists to climb.

Both of them were built between 1109 and 1119, but workers decided to reduce the height of the Garisenda in the 14th century due to a troubling lean.

Its famous leaning counterpart in Pisa tilted as much as 5.5 degrees by 1990.

However, the tower was stabilised by work between 1993 and 2001, which reduced the tilt to 3.97 degrees.

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