The Ufficio Filatelico e Numismatico Governatorato della Città del Vaticano — Holy See will issue (5th March) new copper collector coins which focus on the theme of “Art and Faith,” the combination of which has always characterised art and distinguishes countless masterpieces preserved in Vatican City, some of which will be the subject of this new cycle of numismatic issues.
Through art, the popes over the centuries have communicated and accomplished their spiritual mission. It was Saint John Paul II who noted that art, “even beyond its typically religious expressions, true art has a close affinity with the world of faith, so that, even in situations where culture and the Church are far apart, art remains a kind of bridge to religious experience.” This comment was attributed to a letter written by the Holy Father to Artists, 1999. This new numismatic series is inaugurated with the sculpted work of the undisputed and extraordinary beauty, the Pietà, created by 24-year-old Michelangelo Buonarroti between 1498 -1499. The work was commissioned by French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères, ambassador of Charles VIII to the court of Pope Alexander VI, and destined to the chapel of Saint Petronilla, where it would probably have been the cardinal’s funerary monument. Here art and faith unite, reaching an expressive and emotional force of rare intensity, without affecting in any way the delicacy and gentleness of the composition which remains one of the most admired sculptural works ever.
The coins are produced by the Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca Dello Stato (IPZS) at their facilities in Rome, on behalf of the treasury of the Holy See, and are designed by Chiara Principe. The reverse side depicts the famous work of art of the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the crucifixion. The sculpture was crafted out of Carrara marble and was made for the cardinal Jean de Bilhères’s funeral monument, which is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed. The denomination of 10 EURO is placed below the primary design.
The reverse side includes the crest of HE Pope Francis depicting the papal mitre and crossed keys. The legend FRANCISCUS PP ANNO DOMINI MMXX is placed above the crest. The text MISERANDO ATQUE ELIGENDO, the Latin motto of His Eminence (“by having mercy, by choosing him”), is seen just under the crest. Pope Francis expressed his wish that papal coins do not include his effigy or likeness since the issue of Vatican coinage in 2017.
|15 g||32 mm||Brilliant Unc.||
The coins will be available for their nominal value of € 10 with or without an official case that can be purchased separately. For additional information about these coins and others released by the treasury of the Vatican City State — Holy See — please visit the website of the Ufficio Filatelico e Numismatico Governatorato della Città del Vaticano.