Missing Galileo fingers discovered

Nov. 23, 2009 at 12:52 PM
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FLORENCE, Italy, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- The director of a museum in Florence, Italy, said two fingers taken from Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1737 have been rediscovered.

Paolo Galluzzi, director of the Museum of the History of Science in Florence, said an unidentified individual bought the two fingers at an auction and brought the appendages to the museum to determine if they truly came from Galileo, CNN reported Monday.

In March 1737, three of Galileo's fingers and one of his teeth were removed when his remains were relocated to Florence and one of those fingers is currently on display at Galluzzi's museum. The other two fingers and the tooth were placed in a jar, which vanished as of 1905.

"There is a description from 1905 by the last person to have seen these objects. It provides us with a very detailed description of the container and the contents inside," Galluzzi said regarding how the rediscovered body parts were identified.

Galluzzi told CNN the two fingers and the tooth from the late Scientific Revolution figure will go on display at his museum in March 2010.

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