Top Ten Afterlife Journeys of Notable People- page 3 | History | Smithsonian
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Top Ten Afterlife Journeys of Notable People

Why Beethoven, Galileo, Napoleon and others never truly rested in peace

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(Continued from page 2)

Galileo Galilei

Deemed a heretic for his heliocentric beliefs, Galileo did not receive a proper burial after he died in 1642. Almost a century later, members of the scientific community unearthed his remains, moving them into a marble tomb in Santa Croce Basilica in Florence—but not before taking a few souvenirs: several fingers, a tooth and a vertebra. The backbone eventually appeared at the University of Padua, his middle finger in a collection that spawned the Galileo Museum. The rest disappeared in 1905, but was recovered at a Florence auction three years ago, and now resides in the eponymous museum.

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