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Results of the open competition for the design of a €20 silver collector coin featuring the historical preservation area of Banská Bystrica

First prize (design selected for the coin)
akad. soch. Michal Gavula

First prize (design selected for the coin) First prize (design selected for the coin)

Reduced second prize
Mgr. art. Roman Lugár

Reduced second prize Reduced second prize

In December 2014 Národná banka Slovenska announced an open competition for the design of a €20 silver collector coin featuring the historical preservation area of Banská Bystrica. Thirteen designs by fourteen designers were entered in the competition (one of the designs had two authors). In April 2015 the designs were reviewed anonymously by the Committee for the Assessment of Commemorative and Collector Coin Designs, which was assisted by the expert advisors Zuzana Klasová and Ľubica Pinčíková, representing the Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic, and Roman Hradecký, representing the town of Banská Bystrica.

At the Committee’s recommendation, the NBS Bank Board decided that the coin would use the design by Michal Gavula, who was awarded first prize. The Committee praised the design for its artistry and very apt treatment of the assigned theme, as well as for the balanced composition of both the obverse and reverse sides. The Committee also appreciated the depiction and very appropriate positioning of the state coat of arms and the town’s seal, which were placed against each other in the same place on the obverse and reverse. For the upper part of the obverse, the author chose a typical view of the castle complex – one of the fortified bastions, while its lower part shows the Renaissance front facade of Benický’s House. During the Renaissance period, when this house was built, the mining industry was at its peak and the town experienced its strongest economic and architectural development. The reverse of the coin is a compact presentation of the town’s most outstanding monuments. From left to right there are the Parish Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Clock Tower with the barbican of the town castle in the background, and St Francis Xavier’s Church. The centre of the coin field is dominated by the Marian column. The reverse composition is completed by the oldest known seal of Banská Bystrica, which represents the mining tradition of the town.

A reduced second prize was awarded to the designer Roman Lugár. His design was attractive for its modern approach to the theme, with a section of facades on the obverse and an ornamental pattern on the reverse. The design is distinguished by a fine technical rendition and sculpting technique. The obverse side shows a section of the Renaissance town square with Benický’s House and the gothic sculpture of St Barbara (the patron saint of miners) in the foreground, made by Master Pavol of Levoča and situated in the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. On the reverse side, the artist depicted a former bank building, the towers of the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Barbican, the Marian column, and the Clock Tower. The section with the ornamental pattern is based on an aptly chosen fresco motif from the Green Hall in Thurzo’s House. The Committee concluded that the design could not have been to be used for a coin without some modifications, in particular moving the state coat of arms from a building’s facade to a more suitable location.

The third prize was not awarded. However, additional prizes for high quality designs went to the designers Miroslav Rónai, Karol Ličko and Peter Valach.