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Michele Yamiolkowski is a native of Lviv region who saved the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Yevhen Huliuk



Дата публікації

   The consequences of Russia's aggression against Ukraine are tangible and very tragic for our state. However, Ukrainians bravely and with incredible dignity defend themselves and their homes.

   We are convinced that we will win. On the other hand, in such moments, you begin to comprehend the meaning of many things.

   You think about what a person is, his life and purpose of existence, what is the state, the people, the essence of our existence. It is important that such searches for meaning do not break us, but make us stronger, push us to further achievements, inspire us to improve, and secure the people and communities around us.

   That is, as happened in the life of one little-known Ukrainian native of Lviv - Michele Jamiolkowski. The drama of the fate of this extraordinary personality is that he found strength and overcame the tragedy of the first years of life, and thus achieved success and worldwide recognition.

Michal and Michele

  The hero of this post was born into a family of railroad workers in the town of Stryi. It happened on the 21st of July 1932, and then his name was Michal Molda. The boy spent the first years of his life in Lviv, where he was caught and the beginning of World War II.

   Despite his age, Michał Moldi could not escape the horrors of war, the tragedy of those bloody events fell to him, the boy was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and his father, as a reserve officer of the Polish army, was shot by the Germans in Lviv in 1943.

   The boy survived and, in 1945, tried to return to Lviv but fell into the hands of Soviet forces. He was interrogated, held in intolerable conditions, and eventually released. He was only twelve years old. He left "Chervonyi" Lviv and moved to Kraków, where he miraculously met his mother.

   Then there was Warsaw and studying at the Faculty of Geology, a professional passion for basketball. His mother remarried, and Michal Molda took the stepfather's surname, so he became Yamiolkowski. In 1959 he left Poland, which he did not like, and moved to Italy with his family.

   There he renounced Polish citizenship and accepted Italian. He then studied engineering in Turin, studied in the United States (universities in Massachusetts and Austin), and became a professor at the University of Turin.

   Michele Yamiolkowski is the author of more than 250 scientific papers and spoke at many professional and prestigious symposiums, but he gained fame through practical work.

“Dall'Alpi a Sicilia”

  Who was in Messina, so I had to see the Messina Bridge. This amazing structure, which connected the island of Sicily and the Apennine Peninsula, is an example of the technical aesthetics of our time, the true embodiment of human genius, and the pinnacle of modern science and technology.

   The suspension bridge, which is more than three meters wide and is one of the longest in the world, was the result of the efforts of a commission that included Michele Jamiolkowski. For various reasons, construction took a long time, but now Italy has another architectural marvel.

   This bridge is not Yamiolkovski's only water project. He has been a member of the Commission for the Protection of Venice against Flooding since 2003. Scientists are creating a system of appropriate locks, as well as strengthening the shores and raising the harbors.

   During the design and construction of the Messina Bridge, Michele Yamiolkovski demonstrated deep knowledge and professional skills. So, from 1999 to 2001, he was assigned to head the commission that saved and preserved the tourist pearl of modern Italy - the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

   The project cost $20 million, but the "falling" monument was saved and returned to its state in 1838. At the same time, they kept her calling card - a slope familiar to millions of tourists, which turned out to be almost the most difficult task.

   After the work, the commission assured that for the next 300 years, the Leaning Tower of Pisa will be in stable condition. Michele Yamiolkovski was also a member of the commission that restored the bell tower in St. Mark's Square in Venice, another tourist symbol of modern Italy.


The Messina Bridge, Italy
The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
The bell tower in St. Mark's Square inVenice, Italy

Ukraine does not let go

   Despite the pomp of the works described above and the scale of the restored monuments, among Michele Yamiolkovski’s projects, Ukrainians should be most interested in the following. Since 1998, the scientist has been a member of the International Commission for the Design and Construction of Shelters for the Chornobyl NPP.

   In particular, it is a question of the construction of the first and then the second sarcophagi over the fourth power unit. By the way, the "Arch", which was covered in 2016, is the world's largest ground-based mobile structure. Yamyolkovski also participated in the process of land remediation in the Chernobyl zone.

   The objects mentioned in this article do not cover the entire heritage of the native of the modern Lviv region, Michele Yamiolkovski. However, when you are in Venice next time, remember that there is no Ukrainian trace here either. We should not forget about the fate and life of Michele Yamiolkovski. They seem to be telling us that regardless of today, the sun will rise again tomorrow, and a new day will begin there, will be new opportunities.


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