Galileo`s fingers to be on display

Two of Galileo`s fingers and a tooth will be on display in a Florence museum.

Last Updated: Jun 12, 2010, 10:29 AM IST

Rome: Two of Galileo Galilei`s fingers and a tooth will be among the objects on display at the opening of a museum in Florence named after the 17th century Italian mathematician and astronomer.

Closed for two years, the Museum of the History of Science will reopen Friday as the Galileo Museum.

People will be able to see the thumb and middle finger removed from Galileo`s right hand in 1737, almost a century after his death as the corpse was being transferred to the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, where it remains today.

Another finger had already been part of the museum`s permanent collection before its renovation. A vertebra is kept at the University of Padua, where Galileo taught for 20 years.

The three relics were considered lost until recently when they were bought at an auction, according to the museum, which didn`t provide the buyer`s name last year to publicise the objects.

Other items include the lens of the telescope Galileo used to discover Jupiter`s moons. Galileo died in 1642 at the age of 77.

IANS