Introduction section2021 Coin Collection: a coin has been issued on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri to pay homage to him and his work

2021 Coin Collection: a coin has been issued on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri to pay homage to him and his work

As part of the celebrations for the 700th anniversary of the death of the Great Poet, the Italian Mint has issued a coin dedicated to the work and life of Dante Alighieri (Florence 1265 – Ravenna 1321), as requested by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance. The coin dedicated to the Inferno inaugurates a three-year series that will include two more issues – one in 2022 and one in 2023, dedicated to the Purgatorio and the Paradiso respectively.

 

This coin is a way for the Technical and Artistic Commission set up at the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance to pay homage to Dante Alighieri, whose most innovative and visionary work, called the Divine Comedy, has always been considered as one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time, both by the poet’s contemporaries and by subsequent generations.

 

The universal journey undertaken by the poet and Virgil among the damned of hell is the theme of the coin designed by artist Claudia Momoni, which features Dante's profile on the obverse, as inspired by a work by Sandro Botticelli (private collection).
All around, witness the inscription 'REPUBBLICA ITALIANA' followed by a star; the reverse of the work features a stylised representation of Dante's Inferno with the nine circles described in the Divine Comedy and the devil's wings, fire and ice.
Also on the reverse, on the left-hand side of the composition, there is a detail taken from Luca Signorelli's frescoes in Orvieto Cathedral. All around, witness the inscription 'E QUINDI USCIMMO A RIVEDER LE STELLE', namely the verse that closes the Inferno, surrounded by stars; in the centre, witness the value '5 EURO' and the dates '1321 2021', i.e., the year of Dante's death and the year of issue of the coin respectively; in the left-hand field, an 'R' symbolises the Mint of Rome; the right-hand field features the name of the author, namely 'MOMONI'.

 

The coin has been produced in two versions – gold and silver – with coloured inlays, measuring 21 mm and 32 mm respectively. The gold coin, which has a face value of EUR 20, has a circulation of 1500 pieces, while the silver coin, which has a face value of EUR 5, has a circulation of 6000 pieces.

 

The coin can be seen in the Catalogue of the 2021 Numismatic Collection published on the website of the State Mint and Polygraphic Institute, where the other issues planned for the year are listed:

  • 450th Anniversary of the birth of Caravaggio - 2 versions: gold and silver (€20 and 5)
  • 150th Anniversary of the invention of the telephone - Antonio Meucci - €5
  • Sustainable World Series – Endangered Animals - Polar Bear - €5
  • Iconic Coin Series - Lira - 2 versions (€20 and 50)
  • 100th Anniversary of the Italian Basketball Federation - €10

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