Four hundred years after it put Galileo on trial for heresy the Vatican is to complete its rehabilitation of the great scientist by erecting a statue of him inside the Vatican walls.
The planned statue is to stand in the Vatican gardens near the apartment in which Galileo was incarcerated while awaiting trial in 1633 for advocating heliocentrism, the Copernican doctrine that the Earth revolves around the Sun.
Nicola Cabibbo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and a nuclear physicist, said: “The Church wants to close the Galileo affair and reach a definitive understanding not only of his great legacy but also of the relationship between science and faith.”
Professor Cabibbo said that the statue – paid for by private donations – was appropriate because Galileo had been one of the founders of the Lincei Academy, a forerunner of the papal body, in 1603. He had not been tortured or burned at the stake, as many believed, though he was forced to recant by the Inquisition.
Via Times Online