posted on Nov, 22 2009 @ 09:09 AM
Two fingers and a tooth removed from Galileo Galilei's corpse in a Florentine basilica in the 18th century and given up for lost have been found
again and will soon be put on display, an Italian museum director said Friday.
November 21, 2009
Three fingers, a vertebra and a tooth were removed from the astronomer's body by admirers in 1737, 95 years after his death, as his corpse was being
moved from a storage place to a monumental tomb - opposite that of Michelangelo, in Santa Croce Basilica in Florence.
One of the fingers was recovered soon afterward and is now part of the collection of the Museum of the History of Science, in Florence. The vertebra
has been kept at the University of Padua, where Galileo taught for years.
But the tooth and two fingers from the scientist's right hand - the thumb and middle finger - were kept by one of the admirers, an Italian marquis,
and later enclosed in a container that was passed on from generation to generation in the same family, Paolo Galluzzi, the museum's director, told
The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
In this image provided by Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze shows a finger attributed to Galileo Galilei. A Florence museum says,
Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, two fingers and a tooth believed to belong to Galileo Galilei have been found and will go on display next spring. Three fingers
and a tooth were taken from the astronomer's body in 1737 and placed in a container. Paolo Galluzzi, director of the Museum of the History of
Science, said a private collector had bought a container at auction containing two fingers and a tooth. The collector contacted Florence cultural
officials and the parts and the container were found to match descriptions of the Galileo relics in historical documents. Galileo, who died in 1642,
was branded a heretic by the Vatican for saying the Earth revolved around the Sun. In the early 1990s, Pope John Paul II rehabilitated him. (AP
Photo/Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze/ho)
Seems nothing is lost forever, cannot imagine keeping fingers and teeth of anyone no matter how big an admirer.