Lithuania in the news
13th July, 2005
50 Litas Commemorative Coin Wins International Recognition
Vilnius University in
the 19th Century
50 Litas commemorative coin.
Photo Lithuanian Bank
A 50 Litas commemorative coin, issued by the Lithuanian Bank in 2004 to commemorate 425 years since the founding of Vilnius University, has just won major recognition at the international numismatics exhibition "Vicenza Numismatica" in Vicenza, Italy. It won the "International Vicenza Palladio Prize" for architecture depiction.Among the points that impressed by the jury was the feature that, depending upon the angle of view, allowed different dates to be seen - 1579, the founding date, or 2004, the year of issue. Two thousand of the commemorative coins were minted by the Lithuanian Mint. The artist was Rytas Jonas Belevičius.
Vilnius University, founded in 1579, is the oldest university in North Eastern Europe and for three centuries was the leading educational institution in the region. When Lithuania lost its independence in 1795, Vilnius University became the largest university in the then Russian empire and had more students than the universities in Moscow and St. Petersburg combined. The highest mountain in Australia, Mt. Kosciuszko, is named after an alumnus of Vilnius University.
It is not the first time that Lithuanian coins minted in Lithuania have won international recognition. The 50 Litas coin issued to commemorate the 2000 Olympics was declared to be the most artistic coin issued in 2000 by "Krause Publications" (USA), a leading publisher of commemorative coin catalogues.

Further information: "Lietuvos Rytas" 13/7/05