Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018
FLORENCE

Researchers open 16th-century tomb of Giovanni de' Medici

English
© ANSA

Florence, November 19 - Researchers pried open the
tomb of Giovanni de' Medici and his wife on Monday in their
quest to better understand the life and death of the
16th-century warrior.
The tombs of Giovanni - known as "dalle Bande Nere" for the
black bands of mourning he wore for Pope Leo X - and Maria
Salviati were opened in the Medici Chapels in Florence.
Giovanni, whose son was Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of
Tuscany, died of septicemia on November 30, 1526, after he was
shot during battle.
Researchers now want to better understand what kind of
surgery and treatments he had before death.
The Medici tombs were damaged in the major flood of 1966 in
Florence, so authorities also want to carefully inspect the
condition of the tombs, and plan restorations.
The research, building on an earlier inspection in 1945 by
Gaetano Pieraccini, is funded by the Faculty of Medicine at the
University of Pisa and led by Gino Fornaciari.
Monday morning, a "large rock that covered the burial
chamber" of the family was raised to reveal the bones of the
married couple, according to authorities.
Fornaciari and his team are expected to "conduct a thorough
analysis" including medical, palaeopathological and
anthropological studies of the remains over the coming 10 days.
Judging by photos of the remains taken in 1945, it is
believed that Giovanni's right leg was partially amputated
before his death.
Giovanni dalle Bande Nere is regarded as the last of the
great Italian 'condottieri' (war leaders).
His lasting reputation rests on the writings of Pietro
Aretino, the Renaissance author, satirist, playwright and
"scourge of the princes", who was Giovanni's close friend and
accompanied him on some of his exploits.
Giovanni's last days inspired Ermanno Olmi's 2001 film Il
mestiere delle armi (The Profession of Arms).

photo: Hristo Jivkov as Giovanni dalle Bande Nere in Olmi's film

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