.- The Vatican has announced that next week, it will issue a set of four stamps featuring details of one of the most prominent paintings in the recent history of the Holy See. In addition, the Vatican plans to issue a special Euro coin honoring of the 27th year of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II.
On April 5th, The Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Governorate of Vatican City plans to issue 300,000 sets of the stamps, which will feature details from the painting, "Resurrection of Christ" by Perugino.
120,000 copies of a leaflet featuring the Risen Christ, the central part of the painting, will also be released to accompany the stamps. The full series of four stamps costs 3.02 Euro and the leaflet will be 2.80 Euro.
According to the Vatican, Perugino, also known as Pietro Vannucci, painted the altarpiece of the Resurrection of Christ during a period of only two months in 1499 as a decoration for a noble family's chapel in the Church of San Francesco al Prato in Perugia.
The painting remained in its original position until 1797 when Napoleon moved it to Paris. It stayed there until 1815, when it was finally returned to the then Papal State.
'The Resurrection of Christ' has been exhibited in different locations in the Vatican Picture Gallery, which was founded by Pope Pius VII in 1816. In 1964, Pope Paul VI decided that it should adorn the back wall of the library of the papal apartments.
In its current home in the papal library, "Resurrection of Christ" has served as the solemn and significant backdrop to many audiences of popes. The painting can be spotted in pictures of visiting heads of state or government and new ambassadors presenting their Letters of Credence to the Holy Father. It has thereby become one of the best-known paintings in the extensive and proud artistic history of the Church.
On April 28, the Vatican also plans to release the Euro coins marking the 27th year of the Pontificate of His Holiness John Paul II. A set of 8 coins will cost 23 Euro while the proof version, which includes a medal from the pope's pontificate will cost 125 Euro.