The ancient Greek goddess Europa who was abducted and raped by the god Zeus is to be featured on new five-euro notes which will be unveiled by the European Central Bank in the spring.
The series of euro notes will be the second since the single currency's launch in 1999 amid a lingering debt crisis and controversy over draconian European Union austerity measures that have been imposed on Greece.
The "Europa" series, portraying the goddess on new security holograms and watermarks, will be phased in across the eurozone's 17 member countries over several years, starting with a new five-euro note in May.
The image of Europa to be used on euro notes is taken from 2000-year old vase in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The new notes will circulate in parallel with old ones as legal tender and the ECB has not yet set a termination date for the first series.
The ancient Greek goddess will become the face of the euro at a time when soaring unemployment has reached a record high and uncertainty over the single currency's future continues.
Last year, Greece came close to exiting the euro and triggering an economic crash that threatened to engulf the whole of Europe in the worst crisis for over 80 years.