Give Galileo A Hand

Ninety-five years after he died, Galileo’s body was moved from a storage place to a tomb in Santa Croce Basilica in Florence. During the move people managed to remove three fingers, a vertebra, and a tooth. The spineless thieves were never fingered, though one of the digits was recovered and is in the Museum of the History of Science in Florence while the vertebra is at the University of Padua. The tooth and other two fingers were, well, missing. Recently an 18th-century glass vase was bought at an auction and—lo and behold!—the thumb, finger, and tooth inside turned out to be Galileo’s. They won’t be dropped off the Leaning Tower of Pisa, they’ll go on display at the Museum of the History of Science next spring. Galileo, Galileo, Galileo Figaro Magnifico-o-o-o-o!

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