Gold coins dedicated to The Restoration of the Pauline Chapel: The Conversion of Saint Paul.
The Pauline Chapel, place of worship, reserved to the Pope and the papal household, has been restored numerous times throughout its history with various changes made to its original appearance. After months of research and in agreement with the International Committee which followed the work, it was decided that the latest restoration would aim to restore the Chapel as it appeared during the time of Pope Gregory XIII and Pope Paul V (from around 1575 to 1620). The work involved Michelangelo's two frescoes opposite each other, "The Conversion of Saint Paul" and "The Martyrdom of St. Peter", and the entire decorative and figurative areas, making it one of the most challenging operations ever undertaken by the Vatican Museums' Painting Restoration Laboratory. Artist Daniela Longo, author of numerous Vatican numismatic series and known for her profound artistic sensibility, reproduces two highlights of "The Conversion of Saint Paul": Jesus who is above the scene (depicted on the back of the 20 euro coin) and Saint Paul just thrown to the ground surrounded by divine light (depicted on the back of the 50 euro coin). The flash of light is the central theme of the work where Saul, the persecutor of Christians, only three days later in Damascus regains his sight and becomes Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, who "filled with the holy Spirit...began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God." (Acts 9:18-20)