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  • 11/23/2009

Galileo artifacts identified after auction

galileos middle finger, kept at the museum of the history of science, in florence

Two fingers and a tooth which belonged to the renowned Italian scientist Galileo have been found more than 100 years.

The astronomer's fingers --the thumb and middle finger-- and the tooth will be put on display next spring, an Italian museum director said Friday.

Galilei's three fingers, a vertebra and a tooth were removed from his body by admirers as his corpse was being moved from a storage place to a monumental tomb in 1737, 95 years after his death.

One of the fingers was found soon afterward and is now kept at the Museum of the History of Science in Florence. The vertebra has also been kept at the University of Padua, where Galileo taught for several years.

According to the Museum's director, Paolo Galluzzi, the tooth and two fingers from the scientist's right hand were kept by one of his admirers, an Italian marquis.

‘But with time, the generations lost knowledge of what was actually inside the container,’ and the family sold it, Galluzzi said.

The Museum director added that the container was recently purchased by a private collector at auction. The collector contacted Galluzzi and other Florence officials to conclude that the relics belonged to Galileo.

The Museum said that Galileo's relics were held in an 18th-century blown-glass vase, which in turn was inside a wooden case topped with a wooden bust of Galileo.

Galileo died in 1642 after he was condemned by the Vatican for saying the Earth revolved around the Sun.

Source:presstv.ir


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