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Results of the public competition for the design of a €10 silver collector coin to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ľudovít Štúr

First prize (design selected for the coin)
Štefan Novotný

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

Second prize
Karol Ličko

Second prize Second prize

Third prize
akad. soch. Ivan Řehák

Third prize Third prize

In April 2014 Národná banka Slovenska announced the public anonymous competition for the design of a €10 silver collector coin to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ľudovít Štúr. The designs entered in the competition were evaluated anonymously by the Committee for the Assessment of Commemorative and Collector Coin Designs, an advisory body to the NBS Governor. In its opinion, none of the designs satisfied the artistic and/or thematic requirements for the coin. Consequently, the Committee recommended closing the competition without awarding any first, second or third prizes and without approving a design for the coin. It also recommended that the competition be rerun. In July 2014 the NBS Bank Board approved these recommendations, and in August 2014 it announced a second running of the competition. In line with Committee’s recommendation, invitations to enter the competition were sent to the designers of the six best-evaluated entries of the first round and to a further four well-known portrait designers of Slovak coins. The competition was also open to others interested in participating.

Seventeen designs by thirteen designers were entered in the new competition (one entry being a joint work). The Committee evaluated them on 23 October 2014 and was assisted in this task by an expert adviser, PhDr. Beáta Mihalkovičová from the Museum of Ľudovít Štúr in Modra.

A design by Štefan Novotný won first prize. On the Committee’s recommendation, the NBS Bank Board approved his design for the coin and required the author to modify the obverse side by removing ornamental folk motifs and repositioning the Slovak coat of arms into the freed-up space. The Committee praised this design for best capturing the given theme and for the high-quality portrayal of Ľudovít Štúr on the reverse side, considering it to be a particularly faithful likeness that demonstrated highly professional technique. On the obverse side, the depiction of Kriváň mountain was deemed a fitting symbol of Štúr’s era and the Slovak country. The quotation of Štúr incorporated into the obverse design was also praised by the Committee as an apt choice. The expert adviser concurred with the Committee’s selection and with its recommendation for the removal of the ornamental motifs. The designer expressed reservations about modifying the design, but nevertheless respected the Bank Board decision. In the end, he submitted two modified designs, one matching the requirements and another with a simplified decoration; the Bank Board approved the former in line with its original decision.

Second prize was awarded to Karol Ličko. The Committee was impressed by the quality of composition and by the way the design captured the traditional perception of Štúr as a historical figure. The central motif on the obverse side is Kriváň mountain, accompanied by a reference to Štúr’s work. The reverse side depicts Štúr and the tower of Devín castle.

Third prize went to Ivan Řehák, with the Committee singling out the superb technique in his portrayal of Štúr on the reverse side. Alongside the portrait are Štúr’s name and the dates of his birth and death. This depiction, in contrast to traditional portrayals, has an original perspective that brings out well Štúr’s spiritual dimension. Consequently, the Committee recommended that this portrayal of Štúr, after required modifications, be used for the national side of the €2 commemorative coin featuring the same anniversary (the terms of the competition allowed for one of the entered designs to be used in this way). The NBS Bank Board agreed with this recommendation and approved the design for the commemorative coin.