The NEW Galileo Museum

What's New — By katiegreenaway on June 14, 2010 at 7:30 am

Remember when I posted that Science Museum was closed for a month in May.  Well this is why.  On June 11, 2010 the Institute and Museum of the History of Science reopened and changed its name to Museo Galileo. Thank goodness because the name of the museum was way too long.  :)

As a reopening celebration of Galileo Galilei that gave us the works of the telescope and the compass, there will be a exhibition on not only what he has created but of his body parts as well.  Yes you read right.  After Galileo passed, people cut pieces of his body apart as a souvenir, such as his finger and vertebrae.

Paolo Galluzzi, director of Florence’s Galileo Museum, said regarding the body part snatching, “They thought that having a piece of the man would have been a homage to his tradition.”

So, 95 years after Galileo passed away, his body parts were sold at auctions.  While one of Galileo’s fingers and the vertebrae had been conserved in Florence and Padua since 1737, the other finger, the thumb and the tooth had passed from one collector to another until they went missing in 1905.

Alberto Bruschi, a renowned Florence art collector, unknowingly bought them with other religious relics last October at an auction, where they were being sold as unidentified artifacts contained in a 17th century wooden case.  When Bruschi and his daughter noticed that Galileo’s bust topped the case, and read a book by Galluzzi documenting how parts of the scientist’s body had been cut off at his burial, they contacted the museum.  Tests and studies confirmed that they had found Galileo’s missing remains.

Thus the reason for the renovation, the remains, along with two telescopes, a compass and a wealth of other instruments designed by Galileo, are the main attraction at the refurbished Museo Galileo.  Check it out!

Museo Galileo – Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza
Piazza dei Giudici 1
50122 Firenze



Tel: +39 055 265 311
Fax: +39 055 265 3130

Hours open:

Monday, Wednesday-Sunday: 9:3am-6:00pm

Tuesday: 9:30am-1:00pm

Ticket cost:

Adults: €8,00

7-18 years old and over 65 years old: €5,00

6 years and under: FREE

Galileo Galilei