Copernicus gets a new grave

Nicolaus Copernicus, whose heliocentric views helped shake up modern astronomy, has been interred in an ornate new grave in the Polish Cathedral where he was once a canon and where he had previously lain in an unmarked grave.

The remains of the astronomer, who lived from 1473 to 1543, had been identified through DNA testing using strands of hair found in some of his books in Sweden. His seminal work, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, was published shortly before his death at age 70 on the 21st of May 1543. It was banned by the Catholic Church in 1616 and removed from the list of banned books in 1835. The decision to ban the work was criticised as overzealous during the lavish Catholic funeral service yesterday, May 22nd.

He has been reburied in the main body of the Cathedral of Frombork under a black granite tombstone describing him as the creator of heliocentrism and decorated with a golden sun encircled by six planets.


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