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Santa Croce basilica – The secret of petrification

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18th-century Florentian physician Girolamo Segato took the secret to his procedure for the "petrification" of cadavers to his own grave. The mysterious process, claimed by folktale to have been borrowed from ancient Egyptians, was withheld from posterity out of spite for the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who had denied Segato renewed funding for his experiments. The scope of his activities is efficiently summarized by the epitaph to this day adorning the scientist's sepulchre in Santa Croce: «Here lies in decay Girolamo Segato, whom you'd see petrified whole, had his art not perished with him. Unusual were the heights of his knowledge; not-unusual the depths of his unhappiness».

Santa Croce basilica – The secret of petrification

Piazza di Santa Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

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