February 7th 1497: Bonfire of the Vanities
On this day in 1497 in Florence, thousands of objects like cosmetics, art and books were burned in a so-called ‘bonfire of the vanities’. The objects were considered sinful because they encouraged vanity. The bonfire was orchestrated by the supporters of Dominican priest Girolamo Savonarola who spoke out against corruption in the Catholic Church and called for Christian renewal. Savonarola was executed in May 1498.