The Leaning Tower of Pisa is leaning a little less than it used to. The Italian monument, famed for its precarious tilt, has been improving its posture, straightening nearly 1.5 inches since 2001.
According to the tower’s surveillance group (the tower is under constant monitoring by a group of scientists), efforts to reduce the tower’s lean are paying off. The monument was closed to visitors from 1993 to 2001, a point at which the tower was leaning 13 feet off of its base. The steep angle was great for pictures, but not so much for tourist safety or the longevity of the monument.
In order to repair the tower’s foundation, scientists undertook the technically tedious task of removing soil under the northern side of the tower, which allows the monument to counteract its southern lean and sink, slowly but surely, into the ground in the opposite direction.
The scientists involve say the reversal isn’t permanent, but it buys the tower—and alas, photo-taking tourists—at least another 200 years of existence.