(Sir Europe – Bratislava) – The National Bank of Slovakia will issue a memorial coin on the occasion of the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of St. Cyril and Methodius to the region of Great Moravia. However, the original design will be subject to a change the aureole surrounding the heads of the saints, as well as the symbol of the cross on their pallium must be removed, upon the request of the European Commission and several member states, insisting on application of the "principle of religious neutrality". The Bishops’ Conference of Slovakia accepted the decision with regret. "The removal of the essential symbols of Ss. Cyril and Methodius from the memorial coin marks a cultural turning point and is disrespectful to history", said Jozef Kovácik, director of the Press Office of the Bishops’ Conference, adding that the "free use of the attributes of Ss. Cyril and Methodius is a demonstration of the victory over totalitarianism and a symbol of liberty. Also by fault of the Slovak institutions in charge we are losing significant symbols of the freedom of our Slovak nation". The memorial coin will be issued in May 2013.