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Exhibition “Two Sides of the Same Coin. Means of Transactions – Masterpieces of Art”

The exhibition “Two Sides of the Same Coin. Means of Transactions – Masterpieces of Art” has opened in Romania. 100 Greek coins from the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection are on display in one of the most impressive buildings in Bucharest. The exhibition showcases coins as a means of transactions since the 7th century BCE and as masterpieces of ancient Greek art. Additionally, educational activities are hosted for children and the general public.

100 Greek coins travel to Romania

The exhibition "Two Sides of the Same Coin. Means of Transactions – Masterpieces of Art" is hosted in Romania. It showcases 100 Greek coins from the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection, which narrate the appearance and evolution of coins, and depict mythical or historical figures and scenes. Some of these coins are rare masterpieces of ancient Greek coinage.

The exhibition is structured in 8 sections:

  1. The appearance of coins and bimetallism
  2. The first coins in Europe – International coins during Antiquity
  3. The expansion of coinage in Europe – The Greek colonies
  4. Mythical figures
  5. Mythological stories
  6. Historical personalities
  7. Historical events
  8. Snapshots of everyday people and images of nature

Aim of the exhibition

The exhibition aims to present the two sides of the coin: the one that has been qualifying it as a means of transactions since the 7th century BCE and the one that showcases it as a masterpiece of ancient Greek art. Its goal is to introduce the public to the history of coins and ancient Greek culture, while educating them on financial matters.

Additionally, it highlights Alpha Bank Romania's contribution to culture, and strengthens its relationship with customers and the wider public.

An impressive venue

The central building of the National Bank of Romania, located in the historic centre of Bucharest, is hosting the exhibition in its museum space. This impressive building is one of the city's major tourist attractions. Approximately 10,000 tourists are expected to visit the exhibition.

Opening ceremony

The exhibition opened on 21 September 2023, with an official ceremony attended by around 80 invited guests. These included senior executives of Alpha Bank and Alpha Bank Romania:

  • Vasileios Rapanos, Alpha Bank Board President
  • Vassilios Psaltis, Alpha Bank Group CEO
  • Mugur Isărescu, Governor of National Bank of Romania
  • Sergiu Oprescu, General Manager of the International Network of the Alpha Bank Group and Executive President of Alpha Bank Romania

The opening ceremony was attended by Board Members of Alpha Bank Romania, members of ABG ExCom, the Ambassador of Greece in Romania and major clients of Alpha Bank Romania.

The opening ceremony also garnered the interest of Romanian media, receiving extensive coverage.

The contributors

  • Curator / Coordinator / Museological designer: Dr Dimitra Tsangari, Curator of the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection
  • Exhibition design / Graphics: Stamatis Zannos

Educational activities

The exhibition includes exciting interactive educational activities for children. Many of them are based on digital apps.

The National Bank of Romania actively participates in providing education on financial matters and economic literacy, in partnership with the Romanian Ministry of Education. As a result, approximately 7,000 students from Romanian schools are expected to visit the exhibition.

In addition, the exhibition hosts open educational activities for the wider Romanian public and tourists visiting it.

Exhibition catalogue

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue in English and Romanian. The publication Two Sides of the Same Coin. Means of Transactions – Masterpieces of Art, edited by Dimitra Tsangari, has also been released. It presents the 100 coins from the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection featured in the exhibition. It also includes introductions from Vasilios Psaltis, Mugur Isărescu and Sergiu Oprescu, as well as a brief presentation of the Numismatic Collection.

For more information about the exhibition “Two Sides of the Same Coin. Means of Transactions – Masterpieces of Art” you may read the relevant Press Release issued by Alpha Bank:

Press Release