20 euro - 200th Anniversar of the death of Pope Pio VII
The Vatican State Mint commemorates the bicentenary of the death of Pope Pius VII with the issue of the 20 euro gold coin. On the reverse of the coin artist Luigi Oldani features a portrait of the Pontiff wearing the tiara. Luigi Barnaba Gregorio Chiaramonti was elected pope in 1800 during a conclave lasting more than three months in Venice. His 23 year long pontificate took place at one of the most difficult times in Church history during the French occupation of Rome. Fully educated in the Benedictine tradition, he was able to protect the rights of the Church from Napoleon’s bullying. After years of exile, he returned triumphantly to Rome in 1814, and Pius VII decided to reconstitute the Society of Jesus. He was a great art lover and proved this in 1806 when he founded the Chiaramonti Museum in the Vatican Museums, featuring works of art stolen by Napoleon and later recovered.