1er January 2023, Croatia will join the euro zone. The kuna, its national currency whose name means “marten”, will be replaced by the euro. But the future 1 euro coin, minted with this little furry predator, has been accused of plagiarism. The Croatian press is indignant.
Friday, February 3, in a solemn atmosphere, the Croatian National Bank unveiled the designs that will be minted on the 1 and 2 euro coins, as well as on those of 50, 20 and 10 cents. There will appear the Croatian checkerboard, the map of the country, the marten, the portrait of Nikola Tesla as well as the Glagolitic script – the oldest Slavic alphabet. All these reasons had been retained following a public competition.
“We wanted these coins to convey Croatian history and political identity, our sovereignty, our monetary tradition, as well as wildlife, language, culture and literature, great names of culture and science, of creativity and innovation, in short of tradition and modernity”, declared on this occasion the Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, quoted by the site Index.
As soon as the image of the marten was released, Internet users discovered a similar photo, attributed to Scottish photographer Iain Leach.
Warned by Croatian Internet users, the photographer reacted, stating that he hoped that he would be offered at least one Croatian euro coin, relays Index.
The scandal was at its height on Sunday February 5, when Internet users revealed that the young designer Stjepan Pranjkovic, author of the 1 euro coin, had asked for help on Facebook to transfer a photo from Photoshop to editing software in order to to obtain more metallic effects.
“This case is a mirror of Croatia”
Within three days, the case became a national scandal. The author of the Kuna controversial company ended up withdrawing its project and giving up the price of 70,000 kuna (about 9,300 euros), specifying “that he did so under the pressure of a poisonous atmosphere, while regretting that the controversy could have harmed Croatia’s accession