Monday, July 24, 2017

Homage to Galileo


Whilst in Tuscany (Florence) I felt obliged to perform a little scientific pilgrimage to the final resting place of Galileo Galilei (who Pisa airport is now named after) Here is his tomb in all it's splendour. I'm not sure why it's quite this splendid or indeed why it's in the famous church that it is since he had such a public falling out with the Catholic Church but there we are, I guess when it comes to that organisation even bad publicity is somehow turned into cash. Interestingly, in the same church I found a little side chapel (built by the Medici family) that was the initial tomb of the great man. I know there's a linkage between the scientist and this super-rich dynasty but I hadn't perhaps realised the strength of it (must do some Goggling on the subject) without Medici support I doubt Galileo had the political clout or required degree of fame (even though he was infamous) to have his bones put in such a vain-glorious building. I was also surprised to see that the corner of the nave Galileo inhabits has now been put aside for "scientists", Fermi and Marconi also had plaques, not sure if they were actually buried there though. Amusingly on the opposite side of the room there's a row of "artists" tombs, Dante (which is empty) and Michelangelo etc. is this a case of divide and conquer?


His original tomb is shown in the photo above, as you can see it's not as ostentatious as the one he's got now, I guess in the end it's not about what you know, but who you know.

PS. I also visited the Galileo Museum in Florence, well worth an hour or two.

2 comments:

Chairman Bill said...

Galilee?

Steve Borthwick said...

Got it, thanks CB