Deaths force closure of Groningen tower

12th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

12 December 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Martinitoren in Groningen has been closed to the public following the death of three people in three years after they leapt or fell from the church tower.

12 December 2006

AMSTERDAM — The Martinitoren in Groningen has been closed to the public following the death of three people in three years after they leapt or fell from the church tower.

The Groningen City Council, the monuments authority and Marketing Groningen will seek advice over safety measures to prevent similar tragedies. It is not yet clear what measures need to be taken.

The current tower guards, cameras and the barricading of openings have clearly proven inadequate. More than 40,000 tourists visit the tower each year.

"We are trying to think of something that is also aesthetically acceptable," Marketing Groningen director Dick Nijdam said.

"The tower is photographed hundreds of thousands of times per year. A fence is not allowed to mar the view of a monument."

The spokesman could not confirm how long the tower would remain closed to the public. But the municipality hopes to have found a solution in the spring.

"With all of this publicity, visitors will soon stand row upon row at the door," Nijdam said.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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