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Dispute may force auction of palace

The palace where Italian scientist Galileo Galilei taught in the 17th century faces the threat of being auctioned after a labor dispute at Padua University.

Judicial officials said Tuesday the palace, along with paintings and antique furniture worth $600,000, were seized after 18 doctors successfully appealed that the university had not paid them for their work.

The doctors told a labor tribunal they had not been paid for overtime work carried out for the university from 1983 to 1989.

Magistrates can order the palace, seat of Padua University, to be auctioned if the university does not pay up.

Galileo, mathematician, astronomer and physicist, was forced by the Roman Catholic Church to recant his views on the earth orbiting around the sun. He was placed under house arrest until he died in 1642.

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