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A mosaic of events that led to the establishment of a common state of Czechs and Slovaks about 100 years ago became the theme of the five-part miniseries of the Czech Mint "The Foundation of Czechoslovakia". The first gold ducat was dedicated to the Washington Declaration.
The First World War was ending in October 1918, and Charles I, the Emperor of Austria-Hungary, was desperately trying to keep its collapsing monarchy together. Therefore, he offered partial freedom - autonomy within the federation to his subjects. However, the negotiations were too late and the representatives of the foreign resistance of the Czechs and Slovaks responded with the so-called Washington Declaration, in which they proclaimed the sovereign and independent Czechoslovak Republic. TG Masaryk was inspired by the American Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of Human and Citizen Rights. He referred to the historical rights of the Czechs and the right to self-determination for the Slovaks and outlined the form and principles of the future new state. He handed the statement in Washington, DC, to the US government, and President Woodrow Wilson, who wished to speak with Austria-Hungary on a strong voice from the national movements. After the proclamation of 18 October 1918, the humiliated Habsburg monarchy did not have anything other than to adhere to the peace conditions and to recognize the right of Czechs and Slovaks to freedom and independence.
The author of the gold ducats miniseries is the talented medalmaker Jiří Hanuš, DiS. The well-thought-out designs of individual mintages comparing the emergence of Czechoslovakia to the painting process, where the artist repaires the old painting and uses the original surface to create something completely new. The idea of the first ducat devoted to the Washington Declaration is following: The artist applies the perimeter decor of the historical declaration and the rough outline of the future Czechoslovakia (the reverse side) on the metaphorical canvas bearing the Habsburg emblem (the obverse side).
The unprecedented "painting process" will continue on the other four ducats. You can save the whole series in an elegant collector´s etui, which you can also find in the offer of the Czech Mint.
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