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Fairy Tale Coin II. Hedgehog's Coat voted in as Latvia's Coin of the Year 2016

BC, Riga, 25.05.2017.Print version
The winner of Latvia's Coin of the Year 2016 Award has been selected by the traditional annual public survey vote, and this year the award goes to Fairy Tale Coin II. Hedgehog's Coat, Bank of Latvia spokesman Janis Silakalns reported.

It is the second coin in a special Fairy Tale Coin Series which is dedicated to the Latvian folk tales; the first coin issued within this series was "Five Cats", minted in 2015 to immediately win both fame and Coin of the Year 2015 Award.

The author of the winning coin's graphic design is Gundega Muzikante, while the plaster model was made by Ligita Franckeviča. With the graphic design for "Fairy Tale Coin. Hedgehog's Coat" G. Muzikante, a celebrated and prolific illustrator of children's books, made her debut in coin art. This coin of an innovative oval shape was struck by UAB Lietuvos monetų kalykla (Lithuania). The obverse shows a princess carrying a hedgehog in her apron; the reverse features a herd of swine led by a hedgehog and a fragment of an ancient ethnographic building.

At the awards ceremony held in the Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMA), the Governor of Latvijas Banka Ilmārs Rimšēvičs noted that the Museum is a symbolic site to announce the winning coin of the year, for it is a repository of and home for all miniature works of art embodied in the collector coins issued by the central bank. Each of more than 50 works of art by brilliant Latvian artists deserves praise, while they all taken together form a national treasure which it would be difficult to rival.

The Governor of Latvijas Banka presented the traditional prize – the Coin of Latvia, which was once conceived by Teodors Zaļkalns and in 2008 struck in gold, – to G. Muzikante and Ligita Franckeviča, the artists of the winning coin.

During the event, several special prizes were also awarded. Māra Lāce, Director of LNMA, presented the museum expert panel's prize to the authors of silver collector coin "National Entrepreneur". "We want to emphasise the laconic and impressive visual solution of the coin design, with its reverse showing 25 diamond facets that represent the years of successful business activity, and the obverse featuring an IQ code with a short message addressed to the future generations of entrepreneurs. Using a language of modern images and avoiding traditional stereotypes, it delivers a message important for Latvia," she noted.

JSC Tilde Board Member Indra Sāmīte and Deputy Director of the Centre for Culture Information Systems Sandra Ozoliņa awarded the prize of Latvian public libraries to the authors of the coin "Fairy Tale Coin II. Hedgehog's Coat".

Coin collector Madis Gerbaševskis presented the traditional Collectors' Prize 2016, which went to the coin "Earth". He noted that the competition this year had been so tough that the winner was determined by a narrow margin of few votes.  

Those present at the Coin of the Year 2016 awards ceremony paid tribute to Maruta Brūkle, the long-standing Head of the Coin Division, who passed away in May 2016 and whose contribution to the coin excellence cannot be overestimated.

At the event, a draw from among participants in the vote took place, with 19 collector coins issued in 2016 given as prizes. The survey and draw results can be found on the website of Latvijas Banka.

The public survey on Latvia's Coin of the Year Award is the central annual event honouring coin art in Latvia – a specific genre of art excelling in miniature presentation, merging graphic artistry and sculptural creativity with minting technicalities, and giving access to public at large to embodiments of national culture and history. This one was the 13th such survey conducted by Latvijas Banka.

In 2016, seven collector coins telling the story of Latvia's culture, history and people were issued. They are: "Fairy Tale Coin II. Hedgehog's Coat " (video), ""Baltars". Porcelain" (video), "National Entrepreneur" (video), "Gold Brooches. The Disc Fibula" (video), "Janis Rozentāls" (video), "Christmas Battles" (video) and "The Earth" (video).

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