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Results of the public anonymous competition for the design of a gold €100 collector coin to commemorate Rastislav the ruler of Great Moravia

First prize and the selected design
Mgr. art. Roman Lugár

First prize and the selected design First prize and the selected design

Second prize
Branislav Ronai

Second prize Second prize

In July 2013, Národná banka Slovenska announced a public anonymous competition for the design of a 100-euro gold collector coin to commemorate the historically eminent figure of Rastislav the ruler of Great Moravia. In October 2013, the entries were judged by the NBS Governor’s Committee for the Assessment of Designs for Slovak Euro Coins. The Committee reached the opinion that none of the eleven designs submitted was suitable for the coin and recommended that a second round of the competition be announced, this time restricted to those authors of the top three entries, requesting particular modifications in terms of both their artistic design and content. Comments regarding the aspect of the designs’ content were presented by the historian Ján Steinhübel, CSc., expert advisor to the Committee. The NBS Bank Board agreed to the committee’s proposal and decided to announce a second, restricted, round of the competition and invited the authors, Mgr. art. Roman Lugár, Miroslav Rónai and Branislav Ronai, to enter it.

All three invited authors entered the restricted round of competition and their designs were judged by the Committee at the end of November 2013. Based on a recommendation of the Committee, the NBS Bank Board approved for the coin a design by Mgr. art. Roman Lugár, who won the first prize in the competition. The Committee expressed its appreciation of his design from both the artistic and content aspects. The author managed to incorporate all requested design modifications, thus improving particularly the shape of Rastislav’s imagined portrait and the shape of his helmet typical for that period. The ruler’s portrait is accompanied by a cross from the Great Moravian period found at the archaeological site in Mikulčice. The main element on the obverse is a ground plan of a church in Devín complemented by Glagolitic lettering. Of particular note is the author’s apt use of historical elements characteristic for the period, yet rendered using a contemporary sculptor’s language of expression. The quality of the design is enhanced by the harmony achieved between the obverse and the reverse, as well as by the historical lettering bordered by decorative pearled patterning.

The second prize in the competition was awarded to a design by Branislav Ronai. The modified design also represented a significant improvement, particularly as regards Rastislav’s portrait. The clear composition of the reverse side, featuring the portrait, is accompanied by aptly positioned lettering. On the obverse, the author depicted the Thessalonian brothers Constantine and Methodius who, supported by Rastislav, performed multiform missionary, organisational and cultural activities in Great Moravia. Their arrival laid the inception for Rastislav’s plan to create a separate Slavonic religious province and to ensure the legitimacy and sovereignty of Great Moravia – the oldest Slavonic state in central Europe.

A third prize was not awarded in the competition.