“In understanding the importance of literature in a nation’s cultural life and seeking to honour Lithuanian writers – from the earliest founders to modern-day authors – we are issuing a coin for literature. We dedicate this coin also to all those who love literature, because without them – without those to whom authors dedicate their words, knowledge and feelings, there most likely would not be many books,” said Vitas Vasiliauskas, Governor of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.
Artist Rytas Jonas Belevičius, who designed the coin, wanted to express the idea of artistic inspiration, which comes to the author and later enriches the reader. The reverse of the coin depicts the stylised turning of a book’s pages: from static to dynamic, reminiscent of a bird’s wings. The image of the Vytis on the coin is also different and minimalistic – as if painted in light brush strokes.
According to literary critic Valentinas Sventickas, in Lithuania’s history there was not any other period similar to the present one in terms of the growth of fiction and its publishing. “All types and genres of literature are developing freely; there is a variety of topics, methods, styles. The value of the appearing publications and books is different and varied,” says Sventickas.
Each member state of the eurozone has the right to mint collector euro coins, selecting the denomination, metal and other features at its discretion. These coins must significantly differ from circulation coins in at least two of the following three features: colour, diameter or weight. Such coins are legal tender only in the country that issues them, unlike the circulation and commemorative coins, which are legal tender throughout the euro area.