A prized manuscript within the College of Michigan library that was believed to have been written by the famed Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei is a forgery, the college stated.
“Wilding concluded that our Galileo manuscript is a Twentieth-century faux executed by the well-known forger Tobia Nicotra,” the college stated. “After our personal specialists studied his most compelling proof — in regards to the paper and provenance — and reexamined the manuscript, we agreed together with his conclusion.”
Nicotra was jailed for 2 years in 1934 for forgery, together with Galileo paperwork, the assertion famous.
The college is now reconsidering the manuscript’s position in its assortment.
A portrait of Galileo Galilei painted in 1636. Credit score: Imagno/Getty Photos
Earlier than the forgery willpower, the doc was described by the college as “one of many nice treasures of the College of Michigan Library.”
It purported to indicate notes recording Galileo’s discovery of Jupiter’s 4 moons.
“This was the primary observational information that confirmed objects orbiting a physique aside from the Earth,” the college’s description of the manuscript states. “It displays a pivotal second in Galileo’s life that helped to vary our understanding of the universe.”
The College of Michigan acquired the manuscript in 1938 after it was bequeathed to the library by a Detroit businessman, Tracy McGregor, who was a collector of books and manuscripts, it stated.
When McGregor obtained it, the doc had been authenticated by Cardinal Pietro Maffi, who was the Archbishop of Pisa and who “in contrast this leaf with a Galileo autograph letter in his assortment,” the college stated.