20 euro – The Restoration of the Pauline Chapel
The Pauline Chapel is a papal chapel located inside the Apostolic Palace and which owes its name to Pope Paul III Farnese who commissioned it. Michelangelo was given the job to fresco the walls with his representations of the Conversion of St. Paul and the Crucifixion of St. Peter, both realized presumably between 1545 and 1550. The chapel was later completed with frescoes by other artists depicting various episodes in the lives of Saints Peter and Paul. Down through the years the chapel often underwent renovation with the most recent significant one during the pontificate of Paul VI. This later work was recently removed in order to restore the previous condition. The Chapel was reopened for worship on 4 July 2009 with the celebration of Vespers presided over by Benedict XVI. The theme chosen for the gold coins is taken from one of the two frescoes by Michelangelo, the Crucifixion of St. Peter. The 20 euro coin shows a close-up of the apostle's face of suffering, while the 50 euro coin shows the full scene of the crucifixion.