Maltese Cross on the Euro coins
The Maltese cross, Maltese coat of arms and the Mnajdra megalithic temples are the three designs chosen by the Maltese public to appear on the eight faces of the euro coins. From EUObserver.com:
The Maltese National Euro Change Committee (NECC) said in a statement that about 43,000 people had participated in a poll which had asked the public to choose three out of four short-listed designs. The Maltese cross got 36.2 per cent, or 15,658 votes, followed by the Maltese coat of arms (26.32%) and the Mnajdra Altar (20.58%). The Baptism of Christ got 16.9 per cent, or 7,309 votes.From New Zealand's Newswire, Malta Rejects Baptism Euro Coin
The Maltese Cross is a cross made from four straight lined pointed arrowheads, meeting at their points, with the ends of the arms consisting of indented 'v's". For the Maltese, the cross represents the Great Siege of Malta when the Maltese successfully defended their country from the Ottoman Empire. The Maltese Coat-of-Arms consists of a shield showing a heraldic representation of the National Flag of Malta. The Mnajdra megalithic temple is inscribed on the World Heritage List and Mnajdra is to Malta what the Pyramids are to Egypt. Mnajdra is thought to date from around 3400 B.C.
The other short-listed image was the famous sculpture of The Baptism of Christ by Giuseppe Mazzuoli. At the beginning, this image was the most popular with the Maltese public, but after a heated debate on religion and secularism it slipped down the poll. The Maltese conservative government is planning to adopt the single European currency in 2008, although the socialist opposition party argues that the economic situation is not ideal for such a quick adoption of the euro.