September 28, 2022

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Galileo manuscript: A manuscript in a university library believed to have been written by Galileo is a forgery, says University of Michigan

Galileo manuscript: A manuscript in a university library believed to have been written by Galileo is a forgery, says University of Michigan

contributors Claudia Dominguez, CNN

The university said a valuable manuscript in the University of Michigan library was believed to have been written by the famous Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, forgery.

The one-page document known as the “Codic of Galileo” cannot be traced back to any time earlier than 1930 and was likely written by the notorious Italian forger Tobias Necotra, She said in a statement.
An investigation was subsequently opened Nick Wilding, professor of history at Georgia State University, contacted the university’s trustee, Pablo Alvarez. Wilding questioned the manuscript’s watermark and source and shared serious doubts about its authenticity.

“Wilding concluded that the Galileo manuscript was a forgery of the 20th century by the well-known forger Tobia Necotra,” the university said. “After our experts studied the most compelling evidence—about the paper and its source—and re-examined the manuscript, we agreed with his conclusion.”

Among the aspects Wilding questioned was the paper itself, particularly the monosyllabic characters in the paper’s watermark which dated no earlier than the 18th century, the University He said.

The statement noted that Nicotra was imprisoned for two years in 1934 for forgery, including the Galileo documents.

The university is now reconsidering the manuscript’s role in its collection.

A portrait of Galileo Galilei painted in 1636. attributed to him: imagino / Getty Images

Prior to the forgery report, the university described the document as “one of the great treasures of the University of Michigan library”.

It is claimed to show observations recording Galileo’s discovery of Jupiter’s four moons.

The university’s description of the manuscript reads, “This was the first observational data to show objects orbiting an object other than Earth.” “It reflects a pivotal moment in Galileo’s life that helped change our understanding of the universe.”

The The astronomer, who died in 1642, invented the telescope – among many other accomplishments – that enabled him to discover that Jupiter has moons. He became the first defender of Copernican astronomy, who denied that the Earth was the fixed center of the universe.

She said the University of Michigan acquired the manuscript in 1938 after it was bequeathed to the library by businessman Tracy McGregor, who had been collecting books and manuscripts.

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The university said that when MacGregor obtained the document, it was endorsed by Cardinal Pietro Maffei, who was Archbishop of Pisa and who “compare this paper to Galileo’s signature letter in his collection”.