The Vatican City Numismatic Service reports in the issuance schedule for 2020 the production of a 10 euro silver coin for the “50th anniversary of World Earth Day.” The product is available at the Vatican’s Ufficio filatelico e numismatico.
On Friday October 16, the Vatican Mint issued a 10 euro coin. It is a commemorative coin for the anniversary of the 50th World Earth Day, celebrated on April 22. Pope Francis devoted his general audience for the day to this subject.
The Vatican commentary which accompanies the program explains: “The celebration of life on earth is a commitment to take care of the planet, it is the project to which the Church intends to offer its adherence, a grandiose and complex work: to promote international action to guarantee the future for all the food they need, both in quantity and quality, so that economic progress is accompanied by social development, without which there can be no real progress.
“The Vatican City State Mint has issued a 10 euro silver coin made by Master Oldani, representing a mother carrying the Earth, to whom we owe care and love as if she were a girl, with long ears of wheat in her hair, in a cross between the past and the future which becomes timeless, therefore eternal.”
The effigy reproduced on the coin was designed by Luigi Oldani. The sculptor explains to Prima Bergamo the idea that guided him in the realization: “A fertile land; fertile like a young woman; a land to be protected like a woman waiting for a new life; a land to be respected like a mother and her child.”
The assimilation of this woman to Mother Earth comes of itself. Thus, the Cronaca Numismatica, a reputable numismatic magazine published on the internet, does not hesitate to call the effigy “Madre Terra – Mother Earth.” The explanation provided also invites it: the Mother who carries the Earth, assimilates to her daughter “in a cross between the past and the future.” The ears of wheat in the hair also shown there.
It is therefore the Earth that is thus symbolized, especially in its fertility and its fragility, to invite people to take care of it since we are drawn from the Earth and it nourishes us.
This kind of performance is unusual, to say the least, as Cronaca Numismatica emphasizes: “It is an innovative piece, which contrasts strikingly with other Vatican issues of recent years,...by its clever fusion naturalism and symbolism.”
It would undoubtedly be an exaggeration to interpret this innovation in the sense of an evocation of a pagan Earth cult. But the fact remains that this composition leaves an impression that should not be generated by the Pope’s currency. Especially a year after the excesses of the synod for the Amazon and the ceremonies surrounding the Pachamama that were held there.