Exhibition of €-banknotes and €-coins
From 12 June to 12 July the National Museum of Slovenia is hosting an exhibition of euro banknotes and coins. The exhibition, organised by the European Central Bank and the European Commission, presents the banknotes and coins of the single European currency, the progress of the design competition for the national and European sides of the euro coins, and the currency changeover procedure in 2002. 1 January 2002 was a historic day for over 300 million people in Europe. It was the day when they had euro banknotes and coins in their wallets for the first time. The launch required years of preparation and an enormous logistical effort, for the new money started to circulate on that same day in no fewer than 12 countries: Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland.
The aim of the exhibition, which has already been held in several European countries, is to provide information about the euro banknotes and coins, and to give a behind-the-scenes look at their introduction.
The single European currency has to date been introduced by twelve of the twenty-five Member States of the European Union. On 1 January 2007 Slovenia will join them if all goes to plan. Intensive preparations are already under way for the introduction of the euro in Slovenia.
Each of the countries that has introduced the euro conducted a procedure for the selection of the design of the national side of the euro coins. The exhibition presents the procedures for choosing the national side of the euro coins. The euro coin series comprises eight different values (denominations): 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, €1 and €2. Each has a common European reverse side and a national obverse side. The national side indicates the issuing country. The exhibition also presents the selection of the original design for the European side of the euro coins. There are three designs, depending on the coin value. They were designed by Mr Luc Luycx of the Royal Belgian Mint. All three designs show maps of Europe and symbolise the unity of the European Union.
The exhibition also presents the euro banknotes, which are issued in seven different values (denominations): €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500. They were designed by Mr Robert Kalina of Austria’s central bank, who won the Europe-wide design competition held in 1996. Each euro banknote shows a European architectural style: classical, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, baroque and rococo, the age of iron and glass, and modern twentieth-century architecture. On the front, the banknotes show windows and gateways. They symbolise the European spirit of openness and cooperation. The 12 stars of the European Union represent the dynamism and harmony of contemporary Europe. The bridges on the back symbolise communication among the people of Europe and between Europe and the rest of the world.