October 16, 2009

Vatican hosts Galileo exhibition


by Benjamin Graham

The Vatican is hosting an exhibition to mark the 400th anniversary of the work of Galileo Galilei.

The 17th century physicist and philosopher was prosecuted by the Inquisition in 1633, and his books were banned by the Vatican.

He avoided being burned at the stake by agreeing to renounce his view that the sun rather than the earth was at the centre of the universe.

The Vatican took until 1992 to officially admit its ‘error’ in condemning Galileo.

Central to the new exhibition is a reproduction of Galileo’s 1609 telescope, the invention of which marked the birth of astronomy.

Also on display are some of Galileo’s original documents in which he recorded his discoveries that confirmed the theories of Copernicus.

The exhibition will run until January 2010.

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