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The preservation of the Agrigento Cathedral


The Agrigento Cathedral was built about nine centuries ago on the edge of a steep slope made up of alternating inclined layers of soft calcarenites and fine-grained soils; its behaviour has never been satisfactory especially as far as the North aisle is concerned. Many corrective measures have been attempted during its lifespan and also a few years ago. They proved invariably unsuccessful. Recent geotechnical investigations, referred to in the paper, permitted to find out that the main cause of the Cathedral distress is a sliding mechanism involving the upper zone of the slope underlying the North aisle; consequently the essential requirement for the preservation of the Cathedral is the stabilisation of the slope.