Stjepan Pranjković withdraws Croatian euro coin design proposal

Photo: Goran Stanzl/Pixsell

February 7, 2022 – After four days of controversy over an alleged case of plagiarism, Stjepan Pranjković has finally decided to withdraw his Croatian euro coin design proposal.

On February 4, Total Croatia News shared the official announcement from the government and the National Bank of Croatia (CNB) regarding the four winners of the Croatian euro coin design proposal competition. At a government session that day, it was confirmed that the 2 euro coin would feature the geographical map of Croatia; the 1 euro coin would represent the kuna, the emblematic animal of Croatia; the 50, 20 and 10 cent coins would feature Nikola Tesla; and that the 5, 2 and 1 cent coins would feature the Glagolitic alphabet.

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Stjepan Pranjković with Boris Vujčić, Governor of the National Bank of Croatia. (Photo: Igor Kralj/Pixsell)

The four winners attended a symbolic event after the session, during which each provided more details on the creative process behind their Croatian euro coin design proposal and also received a special gift from the National Bank of Croatia . It is also known that each of the winners would receive a prize of 70,000 kuna.

Public reaction was mixed. While some applauded the designs, others criticized them. Many, for example, considered choosing the map of Croatia to be a very simple and easy idea, and others also called Nikola Tesla’s coin political propaganda about the debate about its origins.

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However, the biggest controversy would come the next day when suspicions started spreading on social media about an alleged case of plagiarism. Some people found the design of the euro coin quite familiar, especially because of the layout of the kuna animals. So, several users began to find little coincidence in the coin’s drawing resemblance to British wildlife photographer Iain H Leach’s image of a pine marten, the name by which the animal is known in English.

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Shortly after, they managed to get in touch with Leach, who in turn expressed his ignorance of what had happened and, furthermore, criticized the fact that his permission had not been asked to use an image that would ultimately win a prize of at least 9,300 euros. Some users even shared a screenshot in a public Facebook group called Bring Your Own Laptop Online, where Pranjković allegedly asked for help in turning the photo into editing software, adding special lighting effects to give it a metallic appearance.

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Finally, after several days of intense criticism, Telegram.hr reports that Pranjković sent a letter to the Croatian National Bank in order to withdraw his proposal and also apologizes for the unpleasant atmosphere created by the controversy.

“It was a great honor for me to participate in the selection process for the national side of the Croatian euro coin. However, motivated by the unpleasant atmosphere created in the media and social networks, as well as the pressures I have been exposed regarding my design of the reverse of the one euro coin with a kuna pattern, I have decided to withdraw my design proposal for this pattern and waive any rights based on the competition entry for the pattern of a one euro coin,” said Pranjković.

“I made this decision in order not to aggravate this situation or contribute to possible uncertainties. I am sorry that there have been controversies regarding my work which could harm this important process for the Republic of Croatia. I did not intend to hurt anyone’s feelings, so I apologize to everyone, especially to the Croatian National Bank, the government and the Croatian public,” Pranjković concluded. .

The CNB Monetary Commission announces that it will hold an emergency session today and will comment on Pranjković’s letter. Incidentally, after the media suspected that Pranjković had used someone else’s photo for his design, the CNB Commission announced yesterday that they had launched an urgent inspection of his design.

Speculation regarding possible alternatives has been on social media, with some suggesting that the original photographer be credited, that another design be used which also has the kuna as a motif, and others also suggest that an entirely different motif be used. be used. However, the outcome of the Croatian euro coin design proposal is uncertain pending the CNB’s investigation.

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