Results of the public anonymous competition for the design of a €2 commemorative coin to mark the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of the mission of Constantine and Methodius to Great Moravia

First prize
Mgr. art. Miroslav Hric, ArtD.

The 1150 anniversary of the arrival of the mission of Constantine and Methodius to Greater Moravia - national side

 

Second prize
Mgr. art. Roman Lugár

The 1150 anniversary of the arrival of the mission of Constantine and Methodius to Greater Moravia - national side

 

Third prize
Pavel Károly

The 1150 anniversary of the arrival of the mission of Constantine and Methodius to Greater Moravia - national side

In May 2012 Národná banka Slovenska (NBS) announced a public anonymous competition for the design of a €2 commemorative coin to mark the 1150 anniversary of the arrival of the mission of Constantine (Cyril) and Methodius to Greater Moravia. The two brothers from Thessalonica played an important role in laying the foundations of European civilisation and in 1980 they were proclaimed co-patrons of Europe.

A total of twenty-two designs by thirteen designers were entered in the competition, which was judged in June 2012 by the NBS Governor's Committee for the Assessment of Slovak Euro Coin Designs. The Committee took expert advice from Ján Steinhübel CSc. from the Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

A design by Mgr. art. Miroslav Hric ArtD. won first prize in the competition and was approved for the coin. The Committee praised the design for its thematic and compositional balance, for the clarity and sharpness of its composition, and for the way it incorporated textual elements. In terms of its details, this design was deemed to best meet the stipulated criteria since it references all the contributions that Saints Cyril and Methodius made to Slovak history. The design depicts the two figures and, in the foreground, a double cross stood on the middle of three peaks. The duble cross and peaks are a symbol of Slovakia and represent the significance of the brother's mission, which helped ensure the full sovereignty and legitimacy of Greater Moravia as the first Slav state in central Europe. The figure of Constantine is holding a book that symbolises education and faith, while Methodius is shown alongside a church that symbolises faith and institutional Christianity.

The second prize was awarded to a design by Mgr. art. Roman Lugár, which features finely detailed portraits of the brothers in a circular composition and includes text in Glagolitic, the oldest known Slav alphabet.

The third-prize design by Pavel Károly was commended by the Commission for the high quality of its bas-relief work and its depiction of the motif. It shows the figures of Constantine and Methodius set within the three peaks symbolising Slovakia, and at its centre is a double cross. Also depicted are a book and textual elements.

In the framework of the consultation procedure pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 975/98 on denominations and technical specifications of euro coins intended for circulation as amended, the European Commission and certain Member States required that religious symbols be removed from the winning draft design (the saints' halos and crosses on the pallia). The design has been adapted accordingly, based on a decision by the NBS Bank Board.

Following the change in the European Commission's position of 20 August 2012 which was presented in the press release of the Commission's Representation in Slovakia on 22 November 2012, the NBS Bank Board discussed the issue again on 23 November 2012 and approved the original design of the coin.

In the new consultation procedure, no objections were raised in the European Union and, as at 1 December 2012, the design of the coin is deemed approved by the Council of the European Union.