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Dutchman Claims Pisa Loses Leaning Title to Local Church

According to a retired Dutch geometrician, experts should start "leaning" towards the Netherlands rather than Italy when assessing which European nation has the world's most off-kilter building.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Tower of Pisa has lost a bit of its lean in recent years due to restoration work

Europe's most steeply leaning tower is traditionally recognized as being the Tower of Pisa, but Jacob van Dijk claims that the lesser-known, 12th-century church tower of Walfridus in the Dutch town of Bedum should be awarded the title.

Van Dijk claimed this week that his measurements show Bedum's 36-meter (118-foot) church tower is now leaning more than its Italian rival, which lost part of its tilt following restoration works.

At a height of 55.86 meters, Pisa's tower leans about four meters, while Bedum's tower leans 2.61 meters on its height of 35.7 meters. If both towers were the same height, Bedum would have a greater tilt of 6 cm, Van Dijk argued.

"In Italy they're happy with the result, but here in Bedum we are much happier, because the tower of Pisa is now leaning less than the tower of Bedum," Van Dijk told Reuters.

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