Dear Map & Coin enthousiasts: Since the subject is brought to the list by J.B. Post, here a free translation of the piece on the new Italian 1000 lire coin from the Dutch NRC Handelsblad of November 13, 1997. The illustration of the coin is on the MapHist illustration page:
The Netherlands on the Lire as German province.
by Marc Leijendekker
The Netherlands is for the Italians nothing more than a German province. In advance of the introduction of the Euro a small drawing of Europe is included on the new 1000 lire coin which has to replace the old small bank notes. Countries like Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland and Denmark are clear recognizable. But a border between the Netherlands and Germany is lacking, also the Wadden Islands are vanished.
This is not the only designer's error: Germany is depicted still in the size of the former West-Germany. At the eastern border of this begins on this coins a large area, without the border between the former East-Germany and Poland.
The Zecca di Stato, the state mint, denies that it is not a matter of errors. "I prefer to speak of an artistic interpretation of a drawing," says Roberto Fabbri, the vice-director of the mint.
It took years before the government decided to make a coin of 1000 lire, about 1.2 Dutch Guilders [US$ 0.6]. Last year finally the decision was made, and last Monday [11 Nov.] the coins came into circulation. There are already one hundred million coins struck, and before Christmas an other 180 milion have to be on the market.
Fabbri suggested that it will be difficult to get the coins back, because there are already so much in circulation. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, the Secretary/Minister [Am/GB-english respectively] of the treasury, said yesterday that he will order to correct the design. By the way, the Czech Republic is unrecognizable on the new Italian coin also.
The error is discovered by Arturo Arcellaschi, coin collector in the North-Italian town of Como. "If I was the German government, I would ask the Italian government for their excuse and ask to get the coin out of circulation to correct it."
Italian subscribers, I would like to add such a coin (and the corrected one) to my collection (see: http://kartoserver.frw.ruu.nl/HTML/STAFF/krogt/mapcoins.htm). Please send me one! [homepage with address]