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'SUSPENDERS' TAILORED TO ASSIST LEANING TOWER

First, Pisa's Leaning Tower was girdled in steel. Now the monument is getting a pair of skinny steel suspenders to help it stand straighter.

Engineers hope to begin attaching two 340-foot-long cables running from underground counterweights to the tower in the spring, the Milan daily Corriere della Sera reported Sunday.

The 2.4-inch-thick cables would connect to the tower's north side at a height of 72 feet and then run to the roofs of nearby buildings.

Since the closure, several steel bands have been placed around the 12th century tower as a kind of girdle to give support, much like the bands around a wooden wine barrel.

The cable project will cost about $7 million, said Michele Jamiolkowski, coordinator of an international committee of experts caring for the tower.

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