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Eurosedler

Sagnet om Europa

I nogle af de nye eurosedlers sikkerhedselementer er der indarbejdet et portræt af Europa, en figur fra den græske mytologi. Portrættet er grunden til, at den nye seddelserie har fået navnet Europa-serien. Få mere at vide om Europa, hvorfor netop hendes portræt blev valgt, og om den antikke vase fra Louvre, hvor hun er afbildet.


Historien om Europa

I den græske mytologi var Europa datter af en fønikisk konge. Hun blev forført af guden Zeus, der havde skabt sig om til en tyr og bortførte hende til Kreta. Historien inspirerede de gamle grækere til at anvende "Europa" som en geografisk term.

 

Hvorfor valgte man Europas portræt?

Over hele verden er der en lang tradition for at anvende portrætter på pengesedlerne. Undersøgelser har vist, at folk har let ved at genkende ansigter. Portrættet af Europa blev valgt til de nye eurosedler, fordi det har en umiddelbar forbindelse til verdensdelen Europa og samtidig giver sedlerne et menneskeligt anstrøg. Billedet er taget fra en mere end 2.000 år gammel vase, der blev fundet i Syditalien. Vasen er udstillet på Louvre i Paris.

 

Europa, euroens nye ansigt

Find ud af, hvorfor Europa blev euroens nye ansigt, og kig lidt nærmere på den gamle vase fra Louvre, hvor hun er afbildet.


 

Antik vase med røde figurer

  • Kunstner: Iliupersis-maleren

  • Apulien, ca. 360 f.Kr.

  • Fremstillet: Taranto

  • Side A (øverst): Europa og Zeus (i en tyrs skikkelse)

  • Side B (nederst): Dionysos, maenade og satyr

Figuren på denne vase blev primært valgt som europæisk symbol på grund af det usædvanlige valg af motiv, som viser kærlighedseventyret mellem Zeus og Europa fra en ny vinkel.

Kunstneren, som malede vasen, satte nemlig ikke, som så mange gange før, fokus på bortførelsen, som Zeus - i en tyrs skikkelse - stod bag, men på forførelsesscenen umiddelbart før bortførelsen. Tilstedeværelsen af Afrodite, kærlighedens gudinde, og Eros, hendes søn, viser, at der er tale om en mytologisk kærlighedsscene. Man ser også tydeligt Europas koketteri - hun bærer kostbare smykker og afspejles i vandet i en lille sø tæt ved - og den prægtige tyr i skinnende hvidt, som bøjer sig i ærbødighed; en scene, som mange digtere har beskrevet. Dette er en forførende Europa.
 
Hertil kommer vasens komplekse historie, som er en perfekt afspejling af den kulturelle udveksling, som ligger bag opbygningen af en europæisk identitet. Vasen blev fremstillet i anden fjerdedel af det fjerde århundrede f.Kr. i området omkring Taranto i det sydlige Italien, hvor grækere boede side om side med egnens beboere i et blandet kulturelt miljø. Vasens græske oprindelse understreger antikkens store betydning for dannelsen af en fælles kultur. Den blev fremstillet af en græsk håndværker og blev i begyndelsen af det 19. årh. købt af Louvre, hvor den nu opbevares.


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