Vatican City: Portrait of Pope Francis Removed from Circulation Euro Coins

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by stlnats, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. stlnats

    stlnats Active Member

    The last few Vatican medals have omitted the pope's image, substituting his coat of arms. To me this seemed to be a significant departure from the use of the portrait on both Vatican City and earlier papal coins/medals and it now appears that the 2017 coinage will follow suit. This is an excerpt from http://news.coinupdate.com/ which was shared by Whitmancoin on facebook and which offers an explanation:

    The Treasury of Vatican City State (or the Holy See) announced on the 24th January that from March of this year, new 2017-dated coins and those thereafter issued will no longer carry the effigy of His Holiness Pope Francis. The decision was carried out at the behest of the pontiff, and revised designs without the pope’s portrait were submitted to the European Union’s official Journal, who published the details and images of the new circulation-type coins.

    It was widely known that the pope has, since the start of his pontificate, been uncomfortable with his portrait on money, especially as he has campaigned for greater distribution of the world’s wealth among the poorest. The former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina was elected as the head of the Catholic Church and took the name of Pope Francis after the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI in March 2013. The first euro coins that included portraits of Pope Francis were issued in March 2014 and followed in 2015 and 2016. The coins included were 2- and 1-euro bimetallic coins, as well as 50-, 20-, 10-, 5-, 2-, and 1-cent coins.

    The tradition of depicting the princes or heads of state of the Holy See on coinage has been in effect for centuries, as the possessions of the Vatican are recognised sovereign territory.
     
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  3. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    Well that's unfortunate.
     
  4. scottishmoney

    scottishmoney Bamned

    He sure has shaken the ancient organisation to it's core - too bad he wasn't Pope when I was still Catholic.
     
  5. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector

    In European forums this has been discussed a lot, primarily because the design change is an apparent violation of EU law. Regulation 729/2014 says, in Article 7, that:
    "1. Changes to the designs used for the national sides of regular coins may only be made once every 15 years (...)
    2. Without prejudice to paragraph 1, changes to the designs used for the national sides of regular coins may be made where the Head of State referred to on a coin changes (...)"

    The Vatican has had four different designs of its euro circulation coins so far: in 2002 (introduction, John Paul II), in 2005 (Vacant See; such issues are now explicitly forbidden), in 2006 (Benedict XVI), and in 2014 (Francis I). Three years later they plan to update the design again, only because the very same Francis now wants to see his CoA (his personal one, not the country's) on the coins?

    But the change has already been published in the EU Official Journal. And at the Vatican City (UFN) booth at the World Money Fair they already showed the pieces ...

    Christian
     
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  6. scottishmoney

    scottishmoney Bamned

    Maybe the EU can excommunicate the Vatican for a violation of the rules? :eek:
     
  7. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector

    Hehe. Actually it would be possible to terminate the monetary agreement that the EU has with the Vatican. But that would be shooting at sparrows with a cannon, or breaking a butterfly on a wheel, or ... you get the idea. :) While VA actually issues half of its annual volume for circulation now, we're talking about negligible quantities.

    Some people now believe that whoever OK'd the idea dealt with San Marino and the Vatican at the same time. ;) San Marino, another small non-EU country that has a monetary agreement with the EU and issues euro coins, just changed the obverses of its circulation coins - and they can do that because the 15-year period (see above) is over. The Vatican, no. Or rather "no, but".

    Christian
     
  8. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Isn't the Vactican exempt from EU law? Even if they aren't who is crazy enough to take them on over a coin design?
     
  9. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector

    The Vatican is not a member state of the European Union. However, like the other non-members that issue euro coins (Andorra, Monaco, San Marino) the country has a monetary agreement with the EU. That agreement comes with an annex which is updated regularly, with references to new or amended law (see here for example).

    And yes, as I wrote, this is not a terribly big issue as the Vatican issue volume is not that high anyway. But I wonder why such laws are simply ignored instead of being discussed and maybe amended ...

    Christian
     
  10. scottishmoney

    scottishmoney Bamned

    I still like the idea of excommunication. Britain sure can't seem to excommunicate itself from the EU:eek:
     
  11. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector

    Oh well, the British government still has not officially declared its intention to leave (Article 50 of the EU Treaty) yet, even though the referendum was more than half a year ago. Fortunately the country is not in the euro area, so there is no need for a political debate here (hint hint) and we can focus on coins. ;)

    Christian
     
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