PISA, Italy — Ever since it opened, the Leaning Tower of Pisa has suffered one constant indignity.
People have always tried to correct its lean. But, without the tilt, would as many people visit this famous tower? Probably not. There wouldn’t be the opportunity to snap a picture holding up the structure, the kind of Instagram moment everyone needs for their feed.
Workers began work la Torre pendente di Pisa in 1173. The lean was apparent almost immediately because the ground was not prepared to support the weight of the tower.
Regardless, work continued, and workers completed the tower in 1372.
Perhaps there was no more ridiculous of an effort than the one a group of French tourists put forth on New Year’s Day of 1959.
After a New Year’s Eve party, the group decided to drive from their hotel to the tower. There, they attached one end of a steel cable to the tower and the other end to their car, according to a UPI report.
In what can only be described as a cartoonish moment, they hit the gas, believing they could right the tower with the horsepower of their vehicle, the manufacturer of which was not identified in media reports.
Instead of reducing the tower’s lean, their bumper went flying.
“The Leaning Tower was still leaning today,” UPI aptly reported. “The tower soberly held its ground,” The Associated Press similarly reported.
The reports were mum on precisely how many libations the revelers — and would be lean-correctors — enjoyed during their celebration. Presumably, they had enough liquid courage to make them think their idea was a sound one.
While the tower’s tilt reached 5.5 degrees by 1990, efforts undertaken between 1993 and 2001 reduced the lean of the tower to less than 4 degrees. Perhaps the tower should be renamed the Not Quite as Leaning Tower of Pisa.