Museo Galileo
Virtual Museum
Middle finger of Galileo's right hand
    • Setting:
      Room VII
    • Author:
    • Date:
      Stand, case, and inscription: ca. 1737
    • Materials:
      marble, glass
    • Dimensions:
      150x150x445 mm
    • Inventory:
    • Middle finger of Galileo's right hand (Inv. 2432)

This item exemplifies the celebration of Galileo as a hero and martyr of science. The finger was detached from the body by Anton Francesco Gori on March 12, 1737, when Galileo's remains were moved from the original grave to the monumental tomb built on the initiative of Vincenzo Viviani. The finger became the property of Angelo Maria Bandini and was long exhibited at the Biblioteca Laurenziana. In 1841, the relic was transferred to the just-opened Tribuna di Galileo in the Museo di Fisica e Storia Naturale. Together with the Medici-Lorraine instruments, it was eventually moved to the Museo di Storia della Scienza in 1927. On the marble base is carved a commemorative inscription by Tommaso Perelli.