It is a remarkable bit of irony, the finger: venerated, kept in a shrine, subjected to the same treatment as a saintly relic. But this finger belonged to no saint. It is the long bony appendage of an enemy of the church, a heretic.
As with a fine wine, it took some years for Galileo’s fingers to age into something worth snapping off his skeletal hand. The finger was removed by one Anton Francesco Gori on March 12, 1737, 95 years after Galileo’s death. Passed around for a couple hundred years, it finally came to rest in the Florence History of Science Museum.
For the rest of the story: http://www.slate.com/blogs/atlas_obscura/2013/05/28/galileo_s_fingers_tooth_and_vertebrae_are_in_the_florence_history_of_science.html