Gian Lorenzo Bernini was bom in Naples in 1598 and died in Rome in 1680. He was one of the greatest Baroque artists and worked as an architect, sculptor, painter, poet and scenographer. Vatican City would like to pay tribute to him on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the start of the work of building the colonnade of St. Peter's Square. It was Bernini who designed this architectural masterpiece during the pontificate of Alexander VII. The extraordinary elliptic semicircle of St. Peter's Square formally completes the magnificent urban plan of Michelangelo's Basilica and its classical forms also highlight Maderno's masterful facade. The grandiose embrace of the colonnade, a symbol of the openness of the Church to the world, is artistically shown on the obverse of the commemorative coin where Pope Benedict XVI is depicted with open arms as a sign of welcome.