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Prior to 1902 it was located was at the mouth of the Rio dei Vetrai and, apparently, supported the statue of the Doge Domenico Contarini, particularly loved by the Murano people as he had granted them the privilege of minting oselle, ancient gold coins. During his dogeship, in fact, the Muranese were again granted the privilege of minting the golden oselle in order to keep a ceremony (of ancient origins) going, during which the Doge gave this gold coin - which showed both the image of Saint Mark and his own effigy printed on the two faces - to some personalities of the Republic on Christmas day. 

The Colonna owes its widespread fame to Galileo Galilei, as it was used as a reference point to show the Senate of the Serenissima what could be seen from the Campanile of San Marco thanks to his latest creation: the telescope. As witnessed by a note dated August 21, 1609 by the Prosecutor Antonio Priuli:

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