Florence’s Museo Galileo (formerly known as the Institute and Museum of the History of Science) is a must-see for science nerds. There are over a thousand objects, including globes, barometers and microscopes, from the last five centuries. But that’s not the eerie part of the museum; it’s Galileo himself. Although he died in 1642, he was reburied in 1737 after a monument had been erected in his honour. During the exhumation, three fingers and a tooth were removed from his remains and believed to have been lost to history. But in 2009, the body parts ended up for sale in an auction. Now Galileo’s mummified middle finger from his right hand is now on display in a gold and glass reliquary at the museum for all eyes to see.
In case you didn’t know, Galileo is most famous for saying Earth revolved the sun, which was condemned by the Vatican. Church teaching at the time held Earth as the center of the universe. He had been condemned for “vehement suspicion of heresy”. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the church recognized its mistake over the Galileo incident. In my opinion, Galileo has the final say by raising his middle finger to the whole freakin’ thing.