Galileo’s Fingers Await at Newly Reopened Florence Museum

In producing some of the world’s greatest scientific minds, Italy has shared an intimate history with the development of modern science. Based on the content of the newly reopened Instituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza (Institute and Museum of the History of Science), now renamed the Museo Galileo (The Galileo Museum), it is safe to say that the city of Florence in particular, has played a significant role in scientific history.

At the reopening, museum director Paolo Galluzzi announced the addition of two fingers from Galileo’s right hand and one of his teeth to the museum’s collection. They reappeared at at an auction last year, over a century years since they were reportedly last seen. The Museo Galileo was already in possession of the scientist’s middle finger.When Galileo’s body was transported in 1737 from storage to its final resting place in Florence’s Santa Croce Church, dedicated followers of Galileo removed his digits from his body.