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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Italy's Commemorative Card of IYA2009

We have heard of many souvenirs for IYA2009 in recent times. Especially there was an elegant set of commemorative coins/ numismatic material for IYA2009 from 13 countries, Austria, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Italy, Germany, France, Republic of San Marino, Vatican City, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania & Czech Republic. Many counties contributed to the IYA2009 with stamps and many other souvenirs. I never forget the phone cards of Slovenia, themed with IYA2009.

This post is about Commemorative Card issued by Italy, the Galileo's motherland in commemoration of IYA2009.

Below you can see how the Telescope was introduced by Galileo for the very first time. From the bell tower in Venice Galileo showed the capacity of his new device to the Venetian authorities. Thanks to his telescope he showed them the Laguna and the possibility to see boats two hours before they arrived. The first observations of the Moon, Jupiters’ satellites and stars were made by Galileo from his house, which was very close to the St. Antony’s Basilica and Prato della Valle, one of the biggest squares in Europe.

The important aspect is that Galileo didn’t make his first observations from the bell tower in Venice but from his house. The painting was made by H. J. Detouche, Paris, during XIX century.

It was on the 07th of June 2009, when the fundamental arrangements were laid, to affix a plaque to the San Marco bell tower in Venice in memory of first telescopic observations of Galileo Galilei. It was this tower from where Galileo made observations in 1609. This initial ceremony was held at the foot of the very tower and was attended by the Italian president Giorgio Napolitano adding highlight to IYA2009.

Later on 21st of August 2009, the exact day of 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei's telescopic observations, a successive ceremony was held affixing the plaque on the top of the San Marco bell tower. It was this occasion, when the commemorative card was officially issued with a special postmark with the inscriptions: “Galilei shows the telescope to the Doge Leonardo DonĂ  1609-1610”. The creative person behind this idea of this card was the professor Francesco Bertola, University of Padova (Italy).

The plaque bears the following inscriptions (reproduced in the card below) :

“From here, Galileo Galilei with his telescope, on the 21st August 2009 enlarged the horizons of mankind. On the occasion of the four hundredth anniversary”.

Card Credit: Prof. Francesco Bertola, University of Padova (Italy)
Story Credit: Sabrina Masiero, University of Padova (Italy)