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Czech Mint issues medals commemorating Havel

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Jablonec nad Nisou, North Bohemia, Oct 30 (CTK) – The Czech Mint will issue a series of commemorative medals on the occasion of the 80th birth anniversary of former Czechoslovak and Czech president Vaclav Havel (1936-2011), the mint has said.

It will prepare 400 sets of gold medals for 41,950 crowns each and 100 sets of silver medals for 4950 crowns each. They are designed by local medal maker Vojtech Dostal.

Playwright and dissident Havel was the last Czechoslovak and the first Czech president (1989-2003). After he left the post, he primarily focused on the promotion of human rights in the world. He died on December 18, 2011, aged 75 years.

The Czech Mint produced a series of medals in memory of Havel in 2012 as well, which the firm considers its most successful project of the decade.

The commemorative medals from 2012 are completely sold out, marketing manager Lukas Jokl said, adding that their value has increased by up to 80 percent in four years.

The price of one of the 100 numbered gold medals from 2012 was 25,000 crowns, while now they are sold for about 45,000 crowns each, Jokl said.

The new set includes three medals, each of which depicts one phase of Havel’s life – as a playwright, dissident and president.

“I have expressed the three levels of Vaclav Havel’s personality by slight nuances of his face, hair and details,” Dostal said.

A pair of reading glasses stands for his philosophical detached view, while his loose hair symbolises the dissident’s unwillingness to conform to totalitarianism and the president’s vivid look shows that he has not changed inside, Dostal added.

The front sides of the medals indicate the aspects of Havel’s individual roles. A collage of his dramatic works’ names shows his artistic contribution, a victorious gesture by fingers shaped as “V” stands for his dissident’s defiance, while the president is described by a silhouette of Prague Castle, the presidential seat.

Part of the proceeds from the medals’ sale will be traditionally donated to the Dagmar and Vaclav Havel Foundation VISION 97, with which the Mint has long collaborated.

“I would be glad if the commemorative medals with the portrait of president Vaclav Havel had the same value as the portraits of other statesmen and as his legacy in the future,” Havel’s widow, Dagmar Havlova, said.

A number of cultural and social events to commemorate Havel is scheduled in the Czech Republic and abroad for his birthday on October 5.

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