AUR Summer 24 1920 x116
AUR Summer 24 1920 x116
AUR Summer 24 1920 x116
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Italy culture minister makes gaffe about Columbus and Galileo

Sangiuliano was speaking at book festival in Sicily.

Italian culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano came under fire on Sunday over a gaffe involving the explorer Christopher Colombus and the scientist and astronomer Galileo.

"Columbus wanted to reach the Indies by circumnavigating the Earth on the basis of Galileo Galilei's theories", Sangiuliano said at TaoBuk, the Taormina Book Festival.

However Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492 and died in 1506, while Galileo was born almost six decades later, in 1564.

The comment sparked a sea of social media memes poking fun at Sangiuliano who has faced criticism in the past for making gaffes at cultural events.

Last summer the minister raised eyebrows by implying that he had not read the books shortlisted for the Strega Prize, Italy's top literary award, despite having voted.

Earlier this year, while introducing Rome's New Archaeological Walk, the minister said: "When people think about London, they think about Times Square".

Sangiuliano also caused a stir last year when he claimed that the mediaeval poet and philosopher Dante Alighieri was the founder of Italian right-wing thinking.

Marymount - International School Rome
Marymount - International School Rome
Marymount - International School Rome
Marymount - International School Rome
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